Friday, June 27, 2014

Beach ready

Last night, I managed to finish up one more travel sewing project: a GIANT beach bag. For the last year or two, we've been using this sad purple reusable shopping bag from Steve Madden, mainly because it was big and I didn't care whether it got wet or covered in sunscreen. But this year, I decided I couldn't take it anymore. I sew things, gosh darn it, and it was time I sewed us a beach bag.
After much scouring of Pinterest and the Interwebs, I settled on this great tutorial from Muse of the Morning. I liked it because it was big (I mean, really big) and lined. A lot of the beach bag tutorials out there are for unlined canvas bags, and I just wasn't feeling that.
I did make a few minor changes to the tutorial. I decided not to use elastic in the side pockets and added snaps to them and the main bag instead. I also lined the pockets, which she doesn't do, and I added a smaller pocket inside for my cell phone, keys, whatevs. I used home dec fabric for the lining and handles and quilting cotton on the outside.
I decided not to use interfacing because I wanted this to be a slouchier bag that could be folded up small when not in use. My bag is also actually slightly smaller than the one in the tutorial because I had to shave an inch off the depth when I ran out of fabric. Oops. Still, I'm pretty sure we won't be hurting for space inside this monster.

The outside fabric is Ying Ming in Navy, an oldie from my stash. The side pockets are Painter's Canvas from Laura Gunn (I think in Lime, but it could be Grass), and the lining and handles are a home dec fabric from Ikea that has appeared in several other projects around here.
Now, we're really set. Beach, here we come.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Visits and berries

A few weeks ago, we enjoyed a weekend visit from my mom and step-dad. Matt was actually out of town at a conference for the weekend, so it was great to hang out with them and have some extra help with the B man.
We started the weekend with some strawberry picking at Eckert's. We've gone there a few times for apple picking in the fall, but we'd never tried any of their other picking options, and I thought B might be into the strawberries (He LOVES berries.).
And he was ... for about two minutes. In the way of two-year-olds, he didn't really want to listen to us telling him how to pick the berries (by the stem), so he kept grabbing the fruit in his chubby little hands and smashing it to death, which didn't help anybody (also because B doesn't like to get dirty, so he wasn't at all amused by having sticky berry juice all over his hands).
After a while, he decided it was more fun to just wander through the fields with David, so my mom and I finished up the hard work. We came out with a pretty good haul, all things considered. Jam is on the horizon.
On Saturday, we squeezed in a trip to Grant's Farm, but the skies opened up after about an hour and cut our trip short.
Still, we got to see elephants, deer, peacocks, camels, geese, and lots more. And my mom got B on the carousel again, which I'd say was more successful than last year.
Other than that, we mostly just hung out, blowing bubbles, eating tasty food, reading books, and watching tennis (It was the weekend of the French Open.).
Oh, and we spent some time in the basement when the tornado sirens went off because, you know, St. Louis. Just part of the experience. Can't wait to see these peeps again on our upcoming road trip!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Foxes and travel and pinwheels, oh my!

Until this week, it had been a little quiet on here sewing-wise, so it was nice to finally get to post some finishes. My big finish this week was my entry for the MQG Michael Miller Challenge, aka the Pinwheel Pods quilt.
I actually finished this one up a few weeks ago, but I just couldn't seem to get a good picture of it until this week. You can read all about it and see lots more photos in this post.
I also finished up a few little items for B to use on our upcoming road trip: a crayon wallet and car travel pouch. Quick little finishes feel so good sometimes. You can read about these two in this post. I'm hoping to squeeze in one more trip project before we leave, a nice big beach bag. We'll see.
Finally, my main project over the last week or so has been my mini fox quilts. They're not ready for the big reveal yet, but they're getting close. The fox block is from Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Fox quilt pattern. I made single blocks and surrounded them with scrappy log cabin layers in teal, brown, and various shades of orange.
One is totally done, and the others are basted and ready for quilting, hopefully by the weekend. I'm ready to move on to something new! My brain's already fighting over what to start next. It's always hard for me to commit when there are so many things I want to do.

The neverending to do list:
MQG Michael Miller Challenge quilt
Fox mini quilts
Beach bag
STL quilt
Rainbow New Wave quilt
Mystery HST quilt
Improv quilt
Car travel pouch for B
Crayon wallet for B
Perfect quilted tote
T-shirt quilt 
Aviatrix Medallion quilt 
"Treasure" bag for B
Superhero cape for B
Sewing circle tote
Re-cover the downstairs chair
New pillows for the downstairs chairs
A mug rug for me
Ironing board cover
Reusable snack bags
Washi dress/tunic

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced