A bag for the Nikon

Can you imagine? – you have an idea and a plan that you’re obsessed about but then certain circumstances interfere your plan and you can’t put it into action. And though you have plenty of other things to do you find yourself stuck in boredom because the alternatives are yet not so cool as the project you’re obsessed about and you end up doing NOTHING? That was me this week! The fabric for my new quilt didn’t arrive yet and since quilting was the only thing I wanted to do in my vacation week I pretty much didn’t do anything spectacular (besides starting a drink-more-water revolution).

On Tuesday my sister-in-law and I went to the little fabric store Stoffwerk (where I bought the fabric for my first quilt) and without intention of buying anything I fell in love with these 3 fat quarters. They’re from Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley collection and they’re in this incredible blue and grey tone I like so much these days.

I remembered this little purse that I’ve seen on the Stitch Magazine Cover Fall 09 and I imagined the Hope Valley fabrics would look nice. And I actually needed a bag where I could slide in the big Nikon when I’m on tour so the idea was SEW A PURSE!

Tuesday night I scribbled a bit – thinking of how the bag should look like. Since I have no pattern (which you actually don’t need for this kind of purse) I thought of how to enhance the fabric. Quilted and patchworked elements and stitches?

Yes… it turned out a little bit different but that’s the fun about it. You have to see the product in order to find the best looking treat.

This is what I cut out: 2 lining pieces, 2 outer fabrics, 2 pieces of interfacing, some stripes for the patchwork elements, a doily, and a stripe for the strap and zipper. The fabrics for lining and outer are all from Ikea. In our closet is a inexhaustible source of this grey fabric I could make another 194 bags from it….

I started with the doily bag in the lining. I cut half of the doily and sewed it onto the fabric. Stitched an additional space for the phone. Done! But I didn’t like this much because then I realized it wouldn’t match the style of the purse at all. THAT’S what I mean by you have to have your project in your hand in order to see if your design makes sense… I’ve put this aside and hoped for another idea later.

The stripes that I’ve cut from the Hope Valley fat quarters were randomly sewn together (I’ve added 2 stripes of plain fabric, too)

After sewing the patchworked part on the outer fabric I’ve drawn some circles and SERENDIPITY on (with a fabric pen that goes away after washing, of course) just to have a lead on where to stitch. On the back I’ve pressed on a piece of interfacing and started to machine stitch. I think as long as the interfacing is not too thick you can easily machine stitch little things with a normal sewing machine. I have a small Pfaff that isn’t a professional quilting machine but still this works pretty good.

I did this on the front an back and while I was stitching I thought of another design that I liked better and ditched the idea to stitch SERENDIPITY on the front. This is the result (and YES I’m too lazy to change my bobbin thread all the time).

Somehow I still wanted my sweet SERENDIPITY to be somewhere so my solution was to stamp it on the side panel of the bag.

After that I pinned the side parts onto the front (and back) and stitched along so that the first part of the bag was done.

Back to the lining bag. I took some of the outer fabric and a scrap from the blue Hope Valley and sew everything together.

Now it came to the tricky part that I’ve feared the whole time. I wanted the bag to have a zipper. But since I have the outer bag and the lining bag I had to think of where to put the zipper. Here’s how I assembled the zipper on 2 stripes of fabric.

The question now was: WHERE to sew this on? Lining or outer bag?? I tell you upfront: my decision was WRONG! I pinned and sew it on the lining bag. Then turned the outer bag on the left and put it INTO the lining bag. I left a bit open in the lining bag for the turn afterwards. After sewing everything together and turning the bag inside out  it first looked good BUT now the lining bag was outside and  my outer fabric was inside. Would have been ok if this was the intention. But it wasn’t so I ripped it all open again….

Pinned the zipper on the outer bag and sewed again. YAY. THAT WORKED!! Then I closed the opening in the lining and basically the bag itself was finished.

From the grey fabric I cut a long stripe, folded it right sides together and sewed along. To turn this stripe back to the right was the thing that needed the most time during this whole sewing project…. then pressed and stitched along randomly.

The strap was attached on the sides of the bag and finally – after 5 hours – I was finished. And in love.. I must admit.

I think after my first quilt this was my first BIGGER sewing project. It was not really difficult but without a pattern and with all the ideas what I could stitch on it just takes some time. And it’s so satisfying. A little bit of patchwork and quilting, machine stitching, a zipper… all the good things in one project :-) It’s a GREAT project for those who are not yet experienced with patchwork and quilting. Try small things first and see what happens. It’s fun!!

Eggs + Sharpies = colorful easter decoration!

I had this idea yesterday. I haven’t painted one egg since kindergarten but today I landed on the Sharpie’s homepage and when you can use Sharpie’s to paint on Chuck’s well… you can get freaky on an egg as well. Easter is coming faster than I thought so all I needed was a pack of white eggs as the pens were already there (ordered them from all over the states as in Germany they’re nowhere to find).

Easy task I thought but I was not aware that eggs get stamped before they hit the stores so I had the problem how to get rid of those pink numbers. Tipp Ex works. Works perfectly fine. But looks bad. Really bad. Don’t do it. My fabulous new colleague Annette had the idea to use a nail file and YES that is much better. I took a picture of the result but as there was nothing to see anymore… you get the hint.

eggsnsharpies

tipp ex egg

eggs with stamp

I decided to have a theme. „Tattoo Eggs“ As I’m turning 30 this year a new tattoo is due so I painted the eggs with potential designs. First I blew them out which was a real mess but it provided dinner as well. Then drew on them with a pencil.

pencil scetch

Right after this picture here the egg fell down. If you consider to do something similar I recommend you let the eggs dry for a day so that the rest of the slimy inside isn’t all over your hands. First: it makes the egg slippery which isn’t the best factor to work with. Second: it’s sticky, your hands will get dirty from it and the mess will be all over your working area and now try to use an eraser on an empty egg….

sacred heart

This is how they got finished – I just used a black Sharpie for the outlines and colored the rest in whatever color came to my hand. That’s all the magic. And I like them a lot! They will make a super easter decoration arranged in a bowl.

I’ve made 3 traditional tattoo themes: Happy Easter with cherries, a diamond and a star. 2 swallows facing with a star underneath and a sacred heart.

tattoo eggs

tattoo eggs 2

Here we have a koi fish and a swirl with some cherry blossoms representing japanese tattoo style. Here I’ve found out that Sharpie’s don’t mix with water because I thought of making a more watercolor -ish design but unfortunately that doesn’t work. For the swirls on the koi egg I used a Copic marker with a paint brush tip which worked pretty nice with a bit of water.

japanese eggs 2

japanese eggs

And here we have a sugar skull which actually looks like an egg head which wasn’t meant to be but as it was the first egg I’ve painted I wasn’t aware of the bowing (and here you can still see traces of the pencil)

sugar skull egg

That was the first round of painting eggs. I plan one more session using something different. Don’t know yet. Wouldn’t have thought it could be so much fun. Before this year easter was all about eating chocolate and loads of lamb. But my creative juices are flowing now and I will not stop them :-)

Are you making easter deco yourself? What are you up to? Is anyone having an idea for a nice wreath? I’d love to see your suggestions.

Quick and dirty! Another one…

Uh.. I think a new blog label is born. Due to lack of time right now I’m not doing huge projects but sometimes I NEED things so urgently that it has to get done. Quickly. NOW. So today I will be cruisin‘ round town and hopefully will need some business cards. I checked my belongings and got started.

colored paper – check!
stickers – check!
woven labels – check!
stamps and inkpad – check!

Actually this is the list of things that I used at the end because when I sat down I had no idea what I’d need except of paper. I grabbed the paper, then the labels… as I was sewing the labels on the paper the stamping idea came up…while stamping and not having an idea how I can implement my email address as its too long and the stamp is too short I took some stickers from the „Crafty Stickers“ book, wrote it on, put it on the back of the cards. That’s ok for now. The whole abracadabra took me 30 minutes maybe and now I have 6 handmade business cards (one I screwed up).

Quick and dirty. As I said.

needs

cutouts

done with the business cards

No the numbers aren’t weird. I photoshopped a bit on my phone number. You never know who wants to stalk you…

Quick and dirty!

In the process of making my heavenly working space a bit more lovely (Paola… do you get the hint?! girl, I LOVE this task! Really!) I just put together a quick and dirty pin board for my wall to which I can stick my to do lists, some notes… whatever I can pin up with a needle.

By quick and dirty I mean.. it’s a 5 minute project for which you don’t need much.

You need a piece of cardboard (mine is 5 mm thick, filled with foam by Kapa but any thick cardboard will do the job, too), a piece of fabric and duct tape.

cardboard and fabric

You just have to cut your fabric and wrap it like a present. Duct tape it. Done.

cardboard and cut fabric

finished pin board back

pin board

Ok… maybe it even takes less than 5 minutes. I used the same fabric as the couch because I didn’t have anything else available right now and actually it fits together and it’s already 11:30 pm and I just wanted to get it over with for tomorrow. :-) Sometimes it doesn’t need much to satisfy me and who thought I would be crafty THIS week.  I love my new board and it will remind me of the important things to do in the near future.

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