Adventures in Quilting

The projects and views of a new quilter.

Las Vegas Tote Bag & Wallet March 18, 2011

Last year I attempted to make a Tote Bag that didn’t quite turn out like I had hoped. The pattern wasn’t all that easy to read and seemed to be missing some steps. Shortly after that, I visited all of the quilt shops in the Las Vegas area and picked up several fabrics to make another Tote Bag. Fast forward almost a year later, and I never got around to making any of those Tote Bags…for many reasons, but the big one was because I was afraid of spending a lot of time on something that didn’t turn out right.

I’ve been reading the Lazy Girl Designs Blog for well over a year and always wanted to try one of Joan’s patterns. I don’t know what was holding me back. I even bought the Lazy Girl Wonder Wallet pattern at one of the Las Vegas shops last year but never did anything with it, in the hopes that one day I would get back to making another Tote Bag. I finally broke down and ordered Lazy Girl’s Margo Handbag pattern from Sew Thankful and got right on putting the bag together that evening.

It took me two evenings to get the bag and wallet done (probably because I am a little slow and inexperienced), but I am so pleased with the results. Not only was the pattern easy to follow, but the Margo includes color pictures, as well! That is just what this novice pattern reader needs! There was very little cursing, seam ripping and confusion going on in my sewing room with these projects, unlike many other projects I’ve attempted. My boyfriend even said that the bag looks like something someone would buy in a store…but maybe he’s exaggerating just a bit 😉

So let me share with you the pictures of my projects!


Workspace Pictures February 9, 2011

Filed under: Random Thoughts — Tonya @ 3:26 pm
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I moved into a new house with my boyfriend last month, and I am just now getting around to setting up my sewing room. Luckily it’s a rather large room, so I finally have plenty of space to have a separate table just for cutting, a huge ironing board and a large desk for my sewing machine…and yet ANOTHER table that I’m going to use for laying out my projects as I work on them, especially when piecing blocks. Now I wish I had taken a picture to upload. I’ll work on that!

In December, Rosebud’s Cottage posted some inspiring photos of her workspace that I bookmarked and plan to use for ideas. Also, this week Mary Englebreit posted pictures of hers.

What ideas do you have for a sewing/craft room? Share pictures or a link of your own or maybe a picture that inspires you!


3 Projects from 3 Fat Quarters December 6, 2010

Filed under: Random Thoughts — Tonya @ 11:20 am

I guess I’ve been pretty absent from this blog, but so have my projects. I started on a Dresden Plate table runner but only got one plate completed. It was going to be a Christmas gift, but that’s definitely not happening now. I did make  a basket or two since, but I haven’t had a chance to blog about them yet.

I still read some blogs of other quilters, and I was inspired this morning by Lazy Girl Designs with some small project ideas using just 3 Fat Quarters for 3 projects. While I’m probably not going to do much sewing between now and the first of the year, I’m hoping to tackle more projects after I move in January. I’m pretty excited about the move, as I am going from a one bedroom apartment by myself to a 5 bedroom house with my boyfriend. Since neither of us have kids (and don’t plan to have any), we’re going to have lots of extra space, including a room JUST FOR MY SEWING (and other crafts).

Anyway, my point was to share this link with anyone out there who might still be reading this rarely active blog. Go check out what Joan Hawley at Lazy Girl Designs has to share!



Fall-O-Ween Quilt Designer Blog Hop September 20, 2010

Filed under: Quilt Shops — Tonya @ 3:31 pm


Quilting Retreat Weekend II September 19, 2010

Happy Campers


I spent the past weekend at a cabin at Center Hill Lake with my mom and her five girl friends (known as the MRS’…My Rowdy Sisters) for the second time (the first being a year ago August). The weekend was time to work on quilting for most of us, and a couple of others worked on other crafts and reading. This blog hasn’t been updated since April, which is the last time I did any sewing. Yikes! Life has just been rather busy lately, and I haven’t really had good working space.


So what did I do this weekend? Well, I wish I could say that I completed one full project, but the truth is that I partially finished 3 different projects.


I made the top parts of two I Spy quilts for friend’s babies, but I still need to add the borders and quilt it.
I Spy for Boys I Spy for Girls


Then I did most of the quilting on a panel throw that I started for my mom last year and never finished. She’s going to have to finish the rest of it because my sewing machine arm just isn’t long enough to quilt around the design.
Red White and Blue panel throw


Finally, I finished the final 5 Maple Leaf blocks, also another quilt that I had started last year. I was so hoping to get this quilt finished soon, but I just now looked at the setting kit for it, and it involves piecing 26 MORE maple leaf blocks in a smaller size. At this rate, I feel like I will never get this quilt done, though I’m sure when it’s complete it will be beautiful and well worth the work.
Maple Leaf Blocks


We’re already planning another weekend in March and hopefully again in September. I get so much done when we go, even though this year I feel like I didn’t get much accomplished only because I didn’t finish any one project to completion. Maybe all this motivation will stay awhile, and I’ll get even more done soon.


Las Vegas has Quilt Shops? April 25, 2010

I started this blog almost a year ago after visitng Las Vegas for the first time and discovering all of the really cool quilt shops in the Las Vegas area. Yes, I went to Las Vegas and was more excited about visiting new-to-me quilt shops than I was excited about gambling! At the time most everyone found this to be odd and amusing, but it seemed natural to me to want to visit the shops since I was a new to sewing.


I returned for my second trip to Las Vegas last week for vacation and visited the same 5 shops again. I won’t post about each shop again since I made separate posts for each one last year, but I will link to those posts at the bottom and provide a summary of my recent trip in this single post.


It can really all be summed up with a single picture of all of the goodies I purchased while in Las Vegas. I wish I had taken a picture like this last year, too!


Las Vegas Quilt Shop Goodies


As you can see, I mostly bought small quantities of lots of different fabrics. I bought supplies to make a few more tote bags like the one in the previous post, Funk Frogs Tote Bag. I also picked up two patterns. The first is the Wonder Wallet pattern from a designer whose blog I have been following, Lazy Girl Designs. The second is a pattern to make several small bags called Snap Happy, created by Three Sisters Fabric. The awesome thing about the Snap Happy pattern is that the Christmas Goose Quilt Shop had several kits already made up of the supplies needed to make a Snap Happy bag, so I bought a kit to make myself and my mom a bag.


Here are the reviews that I posted last year of each of the shops that I visited, along with a short, updated review of my latest experience with each shop:


Quiltique – The ambiance of this store is my favorite among the shops. It’s very open, they have the fabric organized well into different styles and colors. I love that they have fat quarters available for almost all of the fabrics that they sell. Their best deals are with the Chunky Hunks, where they package up the last 3 yards of a bolt and sell it at a discounted price. At this shop I purchased fabric to make another tote bag, mostly with discounted chunky hunks and fat quarters.


Fiddlesticks – This is a small shop packed with lots of character. The shop staff on my visit this year and last year are very personal and helpful. It’s like shopping with your favorite aunt! I purchased the Lazy Girl Designs Wonder Wallet pattern and some patriotic fat quarters for my mom. The ladies in the shop were also very helpful in offering to find another Lazy Girl Designs pattern that I have been looking for (the Couch Caddy, which I still haven’t been able to find in any shops, but I’ll probably eventually buy online. I just wish Joan sold it directly on her website).


Fabric Boutique – This is the shop that is known for selling an excluse Las Vegas fabric that I purchased to make a Las Vegas tote bag for my next trip to the city. I also purchased some other Last Vegas-style fabric like dice and four-leaf clovers. Fabric Boutique also offers several different panels in all sorts of styles that are great for people new to sewing and quilting.


Christmas Goose – The best thing that I like about Christmas Goose is the kits they offer. This is where I purchased the Snap Happy pattern and kit. Last year I had bought a similar kit to make Retro Dish Towels. I love the small kits like this and can’t wait to see if they have something new next year.


Nancy’s Quilt Shop – If you’re one who collects lots of small pieces of fabric, Nancy’s is the place to go. I added several sets of Chubby Eighths to my collection in all sorts of colors. They sell these pieces at a deep discount. Their patterns and magazines are also always 30% off.


Visiting the shops helped to increase my motivation to do more sewing in my spare time. I just need to find the spare time now 🙂


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Funky Frogs Tote Bag April 11, 2010

Filed under: My Non-Quilting Projects — Tonya @ 10:15 pm
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The last two evenings I worked on making my first tote bag. I found a pattern at All People Quilt awhile back, and it’s been saved on my flash drive for months. I finally decided to take the plunge this weekend and make it. I estimated it would take about 3 hours to finish, so I probably shouldn’t admit that it took me closer to 8 hours to complete. I’m still fairly new to reading patterns, and there are still lots of sewing terms that I don’t understand, so there was lots of ripping of seams and confusion to slow me down.


Now that I sorta know what I’m doing, hopefully it won’t take me that long the next time I make one. I never figured out what the pattern wanted me to do with the bottom seams to square off the bottom, so I know it’s not right, but it’s the closest that I got. Also, the pattern never really addressed creating a binding for the top portion, so I did that on my own.


Since I usually use this fabric for baby quilts, I was afraid it would turn out looking like a diaper bag or baby bag, and maybe it does resemble one, but I’m still proud of my work and plan to carry it with me to work tomorrow. There’s 4 interior pockets. I would love to figure out a way to make one outside pocket on my next attempt at this pattern.


Funky Frogs Tote Bag Funky Frogs Tote Bag Interior


Here’s the pattern for the Easy Breezy Tote Bag at the All People Quilt website.


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