16 September, 2014

Remembering Paris

September again. With great pleasure I remember September of 2013. One year ago, I and my hubby loaded the car with some stuff and we headed to Paris. Three days on the road and we arrived there. We loved out adventure on the road, we loved Paris, the Mylene Farmer's concerts (and oh, the feeling when I found out that our quilt  won an award at Houston) but most of all I loved that all my three sisters were there with us.

They arrived a few days later and we waited them at the airport. A few times in my quilting life I was proud of my work - and this moment was one of them.
I remember their happy faces and how proud they were with these bags hanging on their shoulders. Priceless memories!

tote bag patterns
We tested extensively these bags and we loved them.

tote bag patterns

Some of you asked about the pattern, here it is finally.

I am happy to share with you the "Bon Voyage" and "Bonne Promenade" bag patterns- my sister Nina suggested the inspired names.

Simple and chic bags- perfect for a weekend getaway. And quick and easy to sew.

tote bag patterns
 Here is the very large travel bag.

tote bag patterns
A quality quilted bag, practical, spacious and classy. It holds a lot of things, with style.

Wide zippered pocket on the back- perfect for valuable things. 

It securely closes with zipper.

 And this is the smaller shoulder or cross-body bag. It is made with heavyweight interfacing.

It also holds a lot, even a water bottle.

 The same secure exterior pocket.

Magnetic snap closure.

And here are the bags made by my testers  - as always, they help me make better patterns -  THANK YOU!

Made by Jan -  she quilted both bags; beautiful quilting and fabric choice.

Made by Susie. Look how beautifully she assorted the strap with the bag!

And how she quilted following the fabric's pattern.
Aren't they beautiful ?

Patterns available, if you want to make your own bags.

 tote bag patterns

I hope you like them. With so many beautiful fabrics out there, I know it will be hard to choose which ones to use first!

Thank you for your support.

15 September, 2014

Hexie Love

How about a magazine that celebrates hexagon quilts? Only for hexie lovers?
Learn more about it here.

The premiere issue will be out in January 2015. And it seems our quilt will be on the cover!!
Looking forward to browse it!


12 September, 2014

Quilt Inspiration

These pictures inspired two new designs and quilts.

One of the quilt is already finished, I wanted to show them to you at the same time, but I suppose I will not have the heart to make you wait one week or more!

I will share both tops next week!
I'm off to "Romanian Music Awards!".

Happy weekend,

11 September, 2014

My new Two Color Quilt and Pattern

My new two color quilt is finally on my mother-in-law's bed.
I wanted it to be warm and lightweight so I chose to use a polyester batting.

 Two Color Quilt Pattern
The polyester batting doesn't highlight the quilting the same way as a cotton batting - we can't have all the advantages in a piece of batting!

 Two Color Quilt Pattern

 Two Color Quilt Pattern
Do you remember how it started? There are 121 blocks and 11 different patterns.

I pieced the blocks and assembled the top quickly and without difficulties.
You couldn't believe how easy it is to keep everything in order.

 Two Color Quilt Pattern

 Two Color Quilt Pattern
I quilted it block by block. I used Aurifil 50wt and the fabulous Jeans Needle.

 Two Color Quilt Pattern

The quilting motif is the same for all the blocks but its size varies with the size of the green patches. This produces a beautiful texture.

 Two Color Quilt Pattern

 Two Color Quilt Pattern
The feathers meet on the diagonal line for all the blocks, everything runs in the same direction- a beautiful effect - see those darker lines across the quilt.

 Two Color Quilt Pattern
 Two Color Quilt Pattern

A multicolor quilt would look beautiful too!

 Two Color Quilt Pattern

  Two Color Quilt Pattern
I hope you like it.
Thank you for your support,

I am linking to Finish it Up Friday. 

10 September, 2014

The best needles for quilting

Years ago I started  using topstitch needles for free motion quilting and it made a huge difference in my quilting. One of the major frustration when free motion quilting is thread breaking. You will LOVE or HATE free motion quilting - it depends by how often your thread breaks.
I hated it many times, but as long as we stitch - we try and learn new things and in the end we make the things easier.

The best needles for quilting

So for years I was extremely happy with the topstitch needles. Then I started trying new things and new challenges appeared. In a few occasions, the topstitch needle wasn't of much help for me and out of necessity (and desperately) I tried a needle that is always in my drawer : the Jeans (denim) needle.

The best needles for quilting

I use the Schmetz brand (it's easily available here), and I am very happy with their quality.

The best needles for quilting
From left to right:
Jeans Needle #100/16, Jeans Needle #110/18, Topstitch Needle #100/16
See the difference between the needles: they have different eye and different point.
While the large eye of the topstitch needle is very important, I found out that the point of the needle is important as well.

One more difference between the two needle types- the Jeans needle is available in  the 110/18 size (sometimes you need the biggest needle), while the largest topstitch needle is 100/16.

The best needles for quilting
Let's see a few successful stories with the Jeans needles!

I finished my "Geometric Gradation" quilt.  It is a simple patchwork quilt. I thought it will be easy to quilt it.

The best needles for quilting

See below how it is quilted. I started from the top left corner and quilted half of the block, toward the opposite corner. Then I came back on the diagonal line to the starting point and I quilted the other half. With the topstitch needle, most of the times the thread broke when I stitched back diagonally. I switched to the jeans needle (and I did not make any other change) - the thread broke 2 or 3 times and I quilted about 100 blocks this way. I was happy!!

Fusible raw edge applique - skipped stitches with the 100/16 topstitch needle. I changed only the needle- no other change- perfect stitches!

The best needles for quilting

The same on another fusible web applique quilt.

The best needles for quilting
I used the Jeans Needles for the first time on this wholecloth quilt. It was quilted with the very thick Aurifil 12wt thread- a real challenge. The Jeans needle saved my sanity!

The best needles for quilting

Of course, the thread you use is very important as well. Find the one that works for you. It's a team: needle+thread. For me the Aurifil thread does a great job!

The best needles for quilting

Stock up a few Jeans Needles! You will LOVE them!! Don't forget about the biggest size!!

PS. Forgot to write: use these needles when stitching bags!

05 September, 2014

Feeling grateful

Every time I quilt something I am grateful for the sewing machine I successfully use for free motion quilting. I am grateful to two men. They did not even know what quilting was but they recommended  me and brought my dream sewing machine to my home. It happened a few years ago. In a few occasions I told you about my sewing machines, these days I try to put together  a "recipe" that will make you fall in love with free motion quilting.

So I stitched these thinking of them!

I used this pattern, but without thinking of measurements. I randomly cut pieces of fabric, added batting and quilted.

Then I added the zippers...

...and  then I created the wide boxed bottoms, cutting away 2'' and 2 1/2'' squares from the corners. I love this shape.

And these are two quilted drawstring bags; I thought that it is so easy for a busy mom to wash these bags. As they are quilted, they don't need pressing!
Sometimes batting is better than interfacing!

Have a great weekend,

I am linking to Finish it up Friday


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