Monday, June 30, 2014

June In Pictures & The Giveaway Winner

Doesn't look like I've done much this month but actually it's been really busy.

I made another three bags and tested a quilt which I'm so proud of and can't wait to be able to show you. All of those will be shown next month when the patterns have been released.

For now though this is all I have to show you for June.
A round cushion for my tootsie in my sewing room, a little pouch as part of the giveaway,The Stow It All Tote I tested for Christine and four chair seat cushions for the shop.

Ok now for the Giveaway Winner. First of all thanks to everyone that entered. The winner was chosen by and is Wendy who left this comment.

Hi Maria, great giveaway, thank you! (and I won't mention the football)... My favourite colour is either blue or red, I really can't decide!

Wendy is one of my followers and is from the UK. In fact she lives in the same town I moved from nearly 20 years ago. What a coincidence.

Congratulations Wendy. I'll be emailing you so you can send me your snail mail addy.

Happy Sewing to all of you

~ Maria ~

Chair Seat Cushions

I completed these quite a few days ago but have only just had the time to post them.

I make them for a furniture shop that also displays and sells my runners. They provide the fabric and foam and I just make them up.

I really don't like having to do all those ties.

One side is patterned and the other plain. Both sides can be used.

 My friends husband makes the furniture for his shop.

Time for bed for me. It's just past 1am and it's been a long day. I finished the quilt I was testing and can't wait to show that to you. I guess it will be a couple of weeks before I get to show that. I also have three bags to show you still.

Don't forget that tomorrow I'll be announcing the winner of my giveaway for the nickle zipper tabs and pouch so be sure to check back to see if you're the one chosen.

~ Maria ~

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Stow It All Tote

Finally I get to show one of the test bags I've done. This one is the Stow It All Tote by Christine Welsh at ChrisW Designs.

I love the simplicity of this bag and at the same time all the pockets it has for organization. Having said that the more pockets I have the longer it takes me to figure out where I put something LOLL. The bag has 5 exterior slip pockets, 1 exterior twist lock pocket, I used a magnetic button though, a recessed zipper closure, an interior zipper pocket, two slip pockets and a pen pocket.

I used upholstery fabric for mine as the outer fabric and quilting cotton for the lining.

The approx. size: 41cm W X 31cm H X 11.5cm D.(16" W X 12" H x 4½" D.) and is rated intermediate but a confident beginner could tackle this because Christine's patterns are so well written with tons of photos of each step, 77 in all. You just can't go wrong.

I didn't have the D rings to attach to the bag handle tabs so I decided to make some fabric ones. I'm quite happy with how they turned out but I think some nice shiny ones would have looked better.

The front has three pockets one of which has a magnetic closure. The pattern uses a twist lock closure which looks so much nicer.

I did a zig zag stitch on the sides and bottom of the bag to make it more decorative and also to fuse the soft and stable to the fabric.

The inside is really roomy with two slip pockets and a pen pocket and also a zippered pocket which is all enclosed with a recessed zipper.

This is the back. I made two slip pockets instead of three.

The bag pattern has now been released so if you'd like to buy one go HERE. The price is excellent but to get a further 20% discount click on the link above and use the discount code stowit in your shopping cart. This code is only valid at the website link above. It can't be used on Etsy or elsewhere.
The code is valid until Midnight Tuesday 24th June EST so hurry and get your copy. 

I still have another three bags to show you when they are released, one of those is for a blog hop though. I've also ventured out into new territory. I'm testing my very first quilt pattern which has to be finished by the middle of July so I can't wait to show you that.

Happy Sewing.

~ Maria ~

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Nickle Zipper Ends Giveaway

Sorry it's taken so long for me to do this post. I've had so many emails about the nickle zipper end tabs I use on my bags. They've created quite some interest and having tried to find somewhere on the net where they can be bought I haven't been successful. A couple of friends have also tried searching but so far we haven't come up with anything like mine. I buy mine from a local bag maker who uses them in his bags.

So being as I couldn't find any on the net I thought I'd do a little giveaway for some of them. I also wanted to be able to post them off to the winner in a little pouch but just didn't have the time, then last night when my football team, Spain, was playing in the world cup games I decided to make one after they were getting slaughtered for the second time LOLL. I deserted them at half time and this morning went out shopping with large sunglasses LOLLL in the hope that no one would spot me and say something about the match.

Anyway enough of that, lets get on with the giveaway. It's the first one I'm doing. I've done giveaways in the past but they've always been for bag patterns generously given by a designer that I was testing for at the time. So it's nice to be able to do one from me now.

I'm giving away 6 zipper end tabs and the little pouch. As I don't know who's going to win I couldn't make it in the favourite colours of the recipient so I made it in my favourite colours.

Depending on how you use the tabs you could make six bags if using on one end of the zipper or three bags if using on both ends. You can see how I've used them HERE for the Open Wide Zipper Pouch or HERE for the Uptown Girl Bag.

This is the underside.

And this is the tiny pouch which I'm sure you'll find a use for.

Now what shall I make you do to win LOLL. Ok I'm not going to have you jump through hoops to enter, all you have to do is leave me a comment and maybe mention which is your favourite colour. That's not too hard is it?

The giveaway will run until June 30th to give all of you who emailed me about the zipper tabs to see this post and have a chance to win. Oh and by the way this giveaway is open to anyone no matter where you live.

When you leave a comment PLEASE leave your email with your comment too so that I can get in touch with you if you win. I'm getting a lot of comments that are 'no-reply'. If you are using Google + the chances are you are one of these. If I can't get in touch with you I'll have to choose another winner.

Best of luck to all of you.

~ Maria ~

Friday, June 13, 2014

Want To See Where I Play

I don't know about anyone else but all it takes is for me to see another blogger show pictures of their sewing space and it sends me into a frenzy of cleaning and organizing. Just recently a few of the blogs I follow did just that and it was perfect timing too becasue I had just finished making the test bags I was doing and my room sure needed something doing to it.
One thing I do regret now is not taking any before photos.

I didn't want to spend any money on making new curtains or anything else for that matter so I sat down for a moment and thought how I could brighten up my sewing room with what I already had.

The curtains were the biggest issue. My sewing room gets a lot of sun and the curtains I had up were my bedroom curtains which stayed in this room when I converted it to my sewing room. Some time ago I switched rooms so my work room was downstairs and my bedroom is now upstairs. So these curtains came down and I put them back in my bedroom where I needed less light.

And these which were the original ones in my sewing room came down from the bedroom and put up in my sewing room. Am I confusing you. LOLL
This photo was taken at 7.15am. As you can see the sun is already shining through and it gets a lot brighter during the course of the day.

So all curtains washed and hung next was my cutting table. I had some old kitchen curtains from about 10 years ago LOLLL yes I am a bit of a hoarder but only when it comes to fabric. I wasn't sure about the yellow but once I put it in place I liked how it looked. Before you could see all the stuff I had stored under there. Now it's nicely disguised.

Next up was to organize my work surface. I like to keep the things I've made on display. My bags are displayed on the back of the room door but I haven't shown you that photo because I have four bags hanging there that I can't show you yet.

This is how I store my bag hardware.

These containers are so useful and I'll be buying some more to store beads that I have which I sew onto some of the bags.

This is my serger which is to the left of my cutting table. I don't use it much now so I put a display board behind it. The patchwork on there is part of one of the next two bags I have to sew.

This is how I store my thread. It works better for me than having them displayed on a peg board on the wall. I found an ice cube tray that had a lid and thought it was perfect for keeping the bobbins.

This is where I sit to sew. In the late morning the sun moves from the front window over to this side and the sun comes blazing in. This part of my room is still a work in progress. I want to make better use of the space under the tables so at some point I'll be changing that.

Oh dear!!! my grotty ironing board needs a new cover. Ummm I have some nice yellow gingham fabric somewhere.

I had a couple of artificial roses which I cut back and used as curtain ties.

Then I pinned some felt ornaments I made quite some time ago to the curtains.

This is another work in progress. My fabric needs to be sorted as I've just been pulling it out and putting it back anywhere lately. I may even get some plastic storage boxes for the one's I don't use that often. The computer table is too big for this corner. It had my old computer on it but since getting my laptop the computer died so I don't need a large table there but that's a job for much later. I'll have to think hard how I can use something I already have that will work better here.

Then after a days cleaning, washing curtains and organizing, at midnight I sat down to make this cushion for my poor tired tootsie. LOLLL
I need to make another one for my other chair.

And this is the final view of my sewing room. This photo is taken from the door as you walk in. It still needs some improvements but I'm really pleased with it so far.

I hope this post has inspired you to clean and organize your sewing space. It doesn't matter if you have a studio or a little corner of a room or just a dining room table when everything is tidy I find it so inspiring and can't wait to start sewing again but today is the kitchens turn. Maybe around midnight I'll sew another cushion for my tootsie again. LOLL

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Happy cleaning, organizing and sewing.

~ Maria ~

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Do I Really Need More Fabric

I thought I'd pop in and let you know that I haven't disappeared. It would appear that the last thing I make was the pouches about a week ago but in fact I have been sewing like mad it's just that whatever I'm making I can't show you yet. I have one bag completed for a blog hop and another two test bags completed too. Tonight I'm about to start on the next one.

I would have started earlier but couldn't make up my mind which fabrics to use and after much searching in my stash decided I needed more. Only about a meter. I should have known better and taken someone with me to keep a tight rein becasue I ended up coming home with 8 meters LOLLLL. Well it's not going to go to waste. I'll use all of it eventually and anyway my way of thinking is if I buy it now I won't be tempted to go out and buy even more when I need to make something, so I'm actually saving, right.

Here are the fabrics I bought. It's evening here so the lighting isn't very good. The colours are much sharper.

I think I'm going to be using these two for my next test bag. These are upholstery fabrics.

This is a cotton fabric and I loved the chain stitch and glitter in it. So pretty.

These two are also upholstery fabrics but have a velvety feel to them. The one on the right looks like a brownish colour but in fact its more green.

Well I've had a good fondle of my fabric so I'd best get back to some more sewing now.

Hope you're all having as much fun as I am.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Sunday, June 1, 2014

May In Pictures

Another month gone and it's time to show you all the things I made during May.

I just finished another bag yesterday but can't include that one in the photos because it's for a blog hop I'm in so you'll get to see that in July when it's my turn.
I also made more of the fabric tulips but didn't take photos of those and the patchwork pouch bottom center was my daughters creation.

I've had loads of emails asking where I buy the nickle zipper pulls that you can see on the Open Wide Zipper Pouches above. Well I buy mine from a local bag maker. I put in an order for more and they arrived yesterday so watch out on my blog because next week I'll be doing a giveaway for some of those and the giveaway will be open internationally so anyone can enter.

It's already 1st of June here and I have a list of things to do that is just getting longer and longer. Today I'll be testing a bag pattern for Janelle at Emmaline Bags. I've only ever made her Necessary Clutch Wallet pictured above which was really easy to follow so it will be interesting to see how I get on with this new design.

Hope you're all having a nice weekend.

~ Maria ~