September 28, 2014

Oh "Deer", How Could I Have Forgotten These

I can't believe I forgot to show you two of my favorite pictures from my trip.  While driving the Skyline Dr in Shenandoah National Park, we came across this mama and baby.  Baby was across the street so I had to take the picture through the car window, but mama stood and posed perfectly for me after we stopped the car.

I promise, no more pictures from my trip....well, at least this trip.  And if you plan on visiting soon, be careful.  My husband has the video waiting for you to watch!!!

September 26, 2014

A Short Getaway Recharges

Many of you know that my hubby and I took off for a week to celebrate our 25th anniversary and just relax.  The body is meant to be recharged and this trip did the trick.  We actually travelled 1400 miles by car and enjoyed the landscape and the history along the way.  Our first night was in Front Royal, Virginia but we stopped in historic Winchester, Virginia first.  This quaint town was warm and charming and we took in the sights (Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters, the confederate cemetery and even Patsy Cline's house).  If you live in the US and you don't know who Patsy Cline was, then I just don't know what to say to you!!!

The next morning we entered the Shenandoah National Park to drive the 105 mile long Skyline Drive.  There were 75 turnouts for beautiful views down to the Shenandoah Valley.

Peaceful and restful already.

From here we travelled on to Richmond, Virginia with a stopover in Waynesboro, Virginia to see the new gallery of one of my favorite painters, P Buckley Moss.  The next morning it was on to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where we have vacationed several times in the past.  We even got chased out by a hurricane one time when we were here!  Here is a view from our balcony.


I loved that balcony.  Sunrise in the morning and fly overs of fighter jets and the Blue Angels practicing for the weekend air show.  Spectacular!

 We went to the aquarium.  My two favorite things....the sting ray petting and the feeding of the sea turtles.

Felt a little guilty at dinner that night after going to the aquarium but we found that our favorite restaurant from our last visit 10 years ago was still open.  Steamed crab legs, oysters, clams and shrimp...oh, my!!  As good as I remembered.

Even the gull is reflecting...

Always time for one lighthouse.  And souvenirs to bring home....

Just thought I'd share.....

September 25, 2014

Glenda by Swoon Patterns

Here is another smaller type bag that is a real winner!  It is the Glenda from Swoon Patterns.  I bought this pattern about a month ago but have been too busy to get to it, but I finally made the time.  I love this bag.  It is big enough to hold all of the essentials but small enough for those who don't like all of the really large bags that innundate the market.  The finished size of this bag is 11" wide and 6" tall.  I made it from a pink and black fabric, one of the many "souvenirs" I brought back from my trip with my hubby.

The bag has a plain flap on the front.  Since the fabric I used made it hard to see that, I decided to add a double button to decorate it a little.  The black button looked too drab and the pink was not right either so I put the pink button on top of the black button and there you have it...much better.  The flap is held by a magnetic snap but would look cute with a turn lock, too.

So you can see, there is some depth to this bag and there is a surprise inside.

It has a zippered divider compartment. and room to store things on both sides of it.  I made one major change from the pattern.  The pattern calls for Peltex to be used on this zippered divider, the main panels and the flap.  I don't like the look of Peltex when it has to be curved like on the flap so I changed all of the Peltex to Soft and Stable and it worked like a charm.  The structure is there but it is soft and smooth.  It also makes the divider pocket padded so it is perfect for a phone.  The pocket is about 5" by 8" so it may even fit some of the bigger phones.

One other great thing about this bag is that it is a shoulder bag, but because the ringed tabs that hold the strap are hidden inside the bag, you can remove the strap and it is beautiful as a clutch.

It is a fun, fast pattern and I will be making more.  I just think how cute the flap would be quilted, decorated or even a different color from the bag.  The pattern is well written and a bargain at $5.95.  You can buy it here.

September 22, 2014

The Spectrum Tote

Here is another bag that I have made that I had to keep from you until the pattern was released.  This is the second time I have tested a bag by Sarah Gido at Cozy Nest Designs.  I love this tote.  Sarah's inspiration was a set of paint samples that she picked up as she was picking out paint for her kitchen.

She liked using a spectrum of different shades of the same color range.  But, once the testers got the bag, all kinds of different looks started to appear.  This tote became so much more.  Check out the other testers' bags here.  I now have so many ideas that I intend to use on this bag.  This is a tote that can be quilted and you can see that some of the testers did quilt their bags and they look fantastic.

The Spectrum Tote is a large bag measuring 18"w x 15" h x 4" d.  The inside has a magnetic snap and a zipper pocket.  Since I made my bag she has also added two rounded slip pockets.

This tote has an interlining of canvas that gives it a nice hefty feel.  You can also make it with Soft and Stable to get a more structured bag.  You will really enjoy making this one.  You can get the pattern here.

September 21, 2014

Draw String Sling

I just got back from a little getaway with my hubby of twenty-five years.  I had been sewing a lot of hours every day before I left and I have to admit the break did me well.  I also have to admit that when I knew the trip was coming to an end, I was ready to get home and start sewing again.  It has been seven days since I have sewn anything!!  Never fear though, I have a few new bags to show you.  I have recently tested two new bags and both have just been released.  I will show you one today and the other one tomorrow.

I was asked by Maria of  Mia Creates if I wanted to test a bag for a new designer, Gary Fletcher of Fashion Clique.  I agreed.  We ended up testing a bag that was different from the one we thought we would.  I was excited when I saw this bag because it is cute and not like any other bag I have done.  The name of the bag is the Draw String Sling and here is my version.

I guess I have been on a plaid run.  I thought it would be great for this bag.  I matched it with a maroon solid for the bottom of the bag, the base, the top binding, drawstring and the flower I added to the flap.  The flap is large on this bag and lends itself to embellishment of some kind (embroidery, special fabric, a flower or two).  I made this frayed flower from a very simple tutorial I found on Girl Inspired.  You can find the link here.

This bag is a quick, rather easy bag to make.  The most difficult part about it is attaching the base and if you take your time, you should have little trouble there.  The bag has no zippers or pockets (but you could easily add a pocket).

The pattern called for 3 layers of interfacing used on home dec fabric.  Since I was using quilting cotton weights of fabric, I chose to do a single layer of interfacing on the outside pieces and lining pieces and add an interlining of duck canvas like I do for tote bags.  This gives the bag some heft without stiffness.  I liked how it worked here.  I wanted the bag to be able to stand up on its own.
Here is a picture of it standing unstuffed as I was sewing.

I have been waiting to use this fabric for a lining.  If it wasn't so light colored, I might even consider it for the outside of a bag.  The inside of this bag is large.

This was a fun bag to make.  This is Gary at Fashion Clique's first bag of hopefully many more.  Go to this link to see the other tester bags and go here to get the pattern.  Gary is offering 10% off until October 20, 2014 with the code 10off.

September 14, 2014

Plaid Nappy Bag That a Man Will Carry

I have been very busy even though you might not think it.  I have two more tester bags that I have completed that I can't wait to show you and tell you about.  I have finished another Bigger On The Inside Backpack that I will show you later and I have completed an order for a baby shower gift that I can show you now (the shower was yesterday).

I spoke to the mother to be a while ago and she wanted to know how much fabric she needed to buy for me to make her a diaper (nappy) bag.  She wanted to go find her fabric.  I told her to go look but to let me buy it.  I wanted to make sure the fabric was suitable and thought with coupons, etc. that I had, that I might be able to get a better price.  She walked away from the fabric store overwhelmed!  This is a response I hear from nonsewists all of the time.  What we find fun and a great adventure is a chore and too overwhelming to those who do not sew.  I was surprised the first time I heard this.  I have been enjoying my time in fabric stores since I was 14!

Back to the story.  She knew that she wanted a plaid fabric and it was important to her that it be a bag that a man would carry.  Nothing babyish and nothing too feminine.  To the rescue, my stepdaughter, who decided to make this bag her shower gift and picked out one of the plaids I had recently purchased, an outdoor Solarium plaid that would resist wear and stains.  And the colors were perfect...tan, grey and natural.  Now, what pattern to choose.  How timely that Samantha at Sewing Patterns by Mrs H just came out with a Nappy Bag pattern.  That was my pick.

This bag has everything and then some.  The pattern is not for the novice (actually, it is labeled advanced) but in the end, I was really pleased with the results.

The front of the bag has a front pocket that is secured by a magnetic snap.  Also, in that pocket are two key rings or pacifier rings.

There are two sets of straps on this bag.  One is an adjustable shoulder strap and the other is two shorter grab and go straps. 

The adjustable strap is removeable and attaches on the side of the bag where you have two elasticized pockets.


The back of the bag has another slip pocket...

with an enclosed zipper pocket inside.

The bottom of the bag  is quilted to keep the Soft and Stable in place.

The top of the bag has a double zipper for easy access.

The inside is complete with elasticized pockets for diapers and wipes.  There is a bottle ring holder at each side.  The inside of the bag is large to hold anything else necessary.  And there is one zipper pocket, too.

This is a well thought out pattern.  I expected nothing else from the designer, Samantha of Sewing Patterns by Mrs H.  She is expecting her first child soon and I knew she would make a bag she would want to use.  It takes some time to put together and there are a couple of tricky spots but the bag was everything I was looking for.  You can get the pattern here.

And...I got a call after the shower...mother to be loved it!  That is what matters the most!

September 9, 2014

Gizmo Garage Laptop Bag

Well, finally I can show you one of the patterns I recently tested for Christine at Chris W Designs.  This pattern, Gizmo Garage Laptop Bag, is a laptop bag in three different sizes, small for laptops up to 13", medium for laptops up to 15" and large for laptops up to 17".  She doesn't leave it to chance.  She found out during the testing that manufacturers are not consistent with each other on width, so she created a sizing guide to help you figure out what size pattern is best for you.  And, yes you get all three patterns!  You can buy it here.

I had just recently purchased some quilting cotton that is a leopard print with shading that makes it look dimensional.  Time to make a wild Gizmo Garage (don't you just love that name?)

I made the medium size with a combination of that quilting cotton and some faux leather.  The bag is well thought out.  The laptop goes in long ways because that makes it is easier to pull out of the bag.  The front closes with a snap hook closure that keeps everything secure.

This is the back of the bag.  On the back is a padded pocket for a tablet.  There are two straps, an adjustable shoulder strap and a grab handle.

Inside is a large slip pocket with pen slip.  In front of that are two pleated pockets large enough to store your cords.  Yep...I think she thought of everything.  I'm not surprised, are you??

Be sure to stop over to her blog to see all of the other testers' bags.  They are all so different.  You can see them here.

September 4, 2014

Bigger On The Inside Drawstring Backpack

Wow, I guess it must seem like Dog Under My Desk week at shades of BOLD, but sometimes when I buy patterns, I buy more that one from an independent designer.  Like I told you a few days ago, I used the $25 gift certificate I won from the bag of the month club to buy two patterns from Erin at Dog Under My Desk.  The bag I just completed was the Bigger On The Inside Drawstring Backpack.  You can find the pattern here

This, casual style backpack uses the drawstrings as the backpack straps.  It measures 14" tall, 
12" wide and 5" deep.  I thought this was a fun bag to make and I love the results.  This bag is made from quilting cotton as main fabric and as lining.  The pattern gives you the option of interfacing both the outside fabric and the lining fabric or just the outside fabric.  I wanted some extra body so I interfaced both with Pellon SF 101.  This bag stands up by itself when it is closed and...

when it is open.  Even when empty.


The backpack has a good sized base to stand on and to let you pack more in it....


But can still be folded flat.

And, just look at the inside.  It is huge and deep.  There is the big zipper pocket on the outside and a slip pocket with a pen pocket on the inside.

This will be the first of many.  The only thing I don't like is the amount of interfacing it takes.  I may make it without the interfacing on the lining next time to see how different it is.

September 3, 2014

Orange and Brown, Date Night and Get Carded

If you live in Northeast Ohio, orange and brown has significance.  Our pro football team, the Cleveland Browns, have been sporting those colors for forever.  Not surprising then, that my daughter picked those colors for her new Date Night Bag and Get Carded Wallet.  She and her husband are huge Cleveland Browns fans.  Not to mention that the colors are great for Fall...colors we'll be seeing in the leaves of the trees soon.

If you saw my last post, you saw that she picked a brown plaid with a bit of orange for the Date Night bag and orange, brown and white flowers for the get carded with a two toned orange chevron as the lining for both.


Here it is.

I see the plaid didn't want to be photographed and didn't cooperate in this photo.

As you can see, my daughter didn't want any straps on the wallet.  She just wanted it to put inside the bag so no straps,tab,split ring, and 2 snap hooks!  She did, however, want a touch of piping, so I added some to the front pocket.

Here is the back with the plaid being a little more cooperative.

On the inside, I added a zipper pocket this time, along with the slip and pen pockets that are included in the pattern.

This is what they look like together.  The wallet would have fit all the way in the front pocket....but why would I have done that???  You wouldn't have known it was there!  The plaid is acting up again!

Both of these patterns are from Dog Under My Desk which you can find here.  Off to do another Dog Under My Desk pattern, Bigger On The Inside Drawstring Backpack.  Do you have your sunglasses on?  Here is a sneak peek at the fabric for that one.  Neon outside, batik inside...

September 1, 2014

Check Out One of My Tagees On Their Around the World Blog

The Around the World Blog continues on.  Please check out one of my tagees:

Kathy from Running With Rocket.  Do you believe she lives in an airpark and has her own plane in a garage on her property?  She grows beautiful flowers and she loves sewing.  Check out  her blog here.  Looks like she has some interesting selections for her tagees, too, for next Monday.

I have started to work on a Date Night Bag for my daughter followed by a Get Carded wallet for her, too.  Think browns and oranges.  Here is a look at the fabric selections.

The flowered fabric is for the Get Carded wallet and the plaid for the Date Night bag.  I'll use the chevron for the lining in both bags.  Off to sew....