Thursday, March 5, 2015

loving it all ...

I seem to be in the middle of some sort of creative identity crisis. You see, I like bright colors, and muted colors, I like making quilts, and pillows, and bags, and pouches, ...

I like complicated projects, and I enjoy beautifully simple ones too. 

And for some reason lately I've been feeling like I needed to finally choose and define what my style is. Which led to a lot of questioning of what I'm doing, and how I'm doing it, and the colors and their shades I like or dislike. Madness, I'm telling you :).

And then I came across Mary's beautiful picture of two very different quilts she made and loved. I finally realized it's ok to be pulled in many different directions as long as my projects make me happy. Revolutionary, isn't it?


Now I'm finally ready to cut into these two stacks without feeling like a traitor to either a brightly colorful or a toned down low key camp. And I might even cut them into giant squares and make a super simple patchwork without feeling like I'm taking shortcuts or being lazy. Because, really, I just love simple patchwork these days.


Monday, March 2, 2015

yet another poofy comforter

Yes, I made yet another poofy comforter and I absolutely love how super soft and comfy it is. And squishy, so very squishy :).

I started off with these fabrics from my stash but I soon realized I had to do some editing.  I decided to cut my patchwork squares at 12" instead of the original 6" squares and some of my fabric pieces were not large enough. I ended up using mostly low volume prints, some novelty prints and some regular "grown up" patterns, and I quite like how it all worked out.

I so love that alphabet fabric I used for the backing. It was originally a duvet cover I bought a while back at Ikea, I simply took it apart and used one layer for this comforter. The fabric felt a little bit rough at first but became a lot softer after I washed it. Plus, can you really beat two twin sized backings for just $19.99?

I followed my original tutorial and did little "tacks" where my patchwork squares met and then I hand quilted through the middle of my squares.

I prefer to hand quilt my comforters as the stitches don't squash the batting as much as the machine stitches would ( I usually use 3/4" high loft polyester batting). And no binding, of course.

As you can see, it's been put to good use already. Makes me want to bury myself in all these blankets and sleep all afternoon long :).

Thanks for reading, friends. Svetlana

Friday, February 27, 2015

on-the-go knitting bag

I mentioned a while back how much I enjoy knitting. I don't produce anything fancy, mostly just super simple socks using the same pattern over and over (which is really strange since I hate repeating the same quilt pattern), but it's fun and relaxing so I keep doing it. 
Also, it's a great portable project and I bring my knitting when I take my kids to their activities. So, when I spotted this free tutorial for crochet on the go bag I knew it would be perfect for my knitting too.

I raided my stash and in the name of taming things down decided to use this lovely linen fabric for the exterior and Doe quilting cotton for the lining.

I made a few changes to the original design - I skipped the pocket and I followed this tutorial for making my bag fully lined with no exposed seams as they tend to drive me crazy.

Here's what the bag looks like when in use, please don't pay much attention to how my girl (not too happy about having to be a model) is holding the knitting needles :).

I didn't use any interfacing but I'm thinking one layer of SF101 might be a good way to go next time.

How about you? Do you like to craft on the go? Do tell.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

liberty coin quilt {a tutorial}

Hello, happy Thursday to you all. 

Today is my stop on Give me Liberty Club Inspiration blog hop organized by super talented Amanda (Westwood Acres Fabric). This blog hop is all about sewing with gorgeous Liberty Tana Lawn. Did you know Amanda runs a Give me Liberty Club which sends out a bundle of ten Liberty cuts each month? What a great way to build up one's Liberty stash, isn't it?

I received this bundle of gorgeousness to play with and I have to admit, I was a little scared about cutting into these beauties.

I wanted to make a project that would let these lovely prints shine. I decided to make a coin quilt (inspired by this quilt) as the solid fabric (Cotton + Steel seaglass)  keeps things from looking chaotic and unifies all the gorgeous prints and colors.

I went with very simple quilting along the sashing as I wanted this quilt to have more of a blanket feel. And, I just adore the addition of Liberty prints to one side of the binding so much, must do that more often :).

My quilt finished at 59" x 63" and here's a quick tutorial if you'd like to make one for yourself too.


Materials needed:
10 FQs Liberty Tana Lawn (you will have some fabric left over), or you could use smaller cuts of    Liberty Tana Lawn as long as each piece is at least 3" x 5.5"
2 yards of solid fabric for solid coins, sashing, and borders
1/4 yard fabric for binding
3 1/2 yard fabric for backing
65" x 70" batting of choice

Notes:  use consistent 1/4" seam allowance
             WOF - width of fabric
             FQ - fat quarter

1. Cutting:   
Liberty Tana Lawn: cut into 88 - 3" x 5.5" rectangles
Solid fabric:  cut 7 -5.5" x WOF strips, sub-cut these into 87 - 3" x 5.5" rectangles
                      cut 9 - 3" x WOF strips for sashing
                      cut 3 -  5" x WOF for the two borders
Binding: cut 6 - 2.5" x WOF strips

2. Columns of coins:
Arrange the layout of your quilt on design wall or on the floor by alternating Liberty and solid coins.  Make 4 columns beginning and ending with Liberty and 3 columns beginning and ending with solid fabric, alternate those columns as shown in the picture below.  Each column will have 25 coins.
(in this picture sashing is already attached)

Once pleased with the arrangement, stitch coins together into columns, press the seams. Each columns should measure 5.5" x 63".

3. Sashing:
Cut three 3" x WOF solid strips in half. Attach the cut halves to six 3" x WOF strips for sashing. Cut your six sashing strips to measure 3" x 63". Start by adding sashing between first and second column. Leave left side of first column and right side of the last column without sashing, that's where the final border will go.

4. Borders:
Cut one 5" x WOF border strip in half, attach each half to the other two border strips. Cut your two borders to measure 5" x 63". Attach borders to the first and last column.

5. Finishing your quilt:
Give your finished quilt top a good press. Baste to make a quilt sandwich. Quilt any way you like, bind using your preferred method.

Congratulations!!! You're all done. Not too difficult, was it?


I hope you'll follow along and enjoy all the fun Liberty projects other super talented bloggers will share over the next two weeks. Here's the line-up:

February 24th: Kick Off! A Crafty Fox 
February 26th: Svetlana at Sotak Handmade 
February 26th: Andy at A Bright Corner 
February 27th: Chase at Quarter Inch Mark 
March 3rd: Lee at Freshly Pieced 

Monday, February 23, 2015


I love working with Art Gallery fabrics as their cotton is a little bit thinner than your usual quilting cotton which makes for quilts with incredibly luxurious feel and gorgeous drape. So, when I was asked to be a part of AGF stitched with Kimberly series (a collaboration between AGF and Fat Quarter Shop) I was more than happy to say yes.

The idea was to make the Birchen quilt using our favorite AGF fabric. I chose the combination of beautiful Petal and Plume by Bari J. and two AGF solids, and I could not be happier with how this quilt turned out. 

I just adore navy and pink together these days. And you know what? Even all these HSTs were a breeze to make as I was sent a roll of HST paper triangles on a roll to use as well. I must admit, I was quite hesitant at first as I've never worked with triangles on a roll before. Once I gave it a try though I could not believe how super easy it was to make tons of perfectly precise, already trimmed HSTs in no time at all.

I used yet another lovely AGF print for the back of my quilt and quilted it using straight-ish lines about 3/4" - 1" apart. 

So, what do you say? Would you like to make Birchen quilt of your own? AGF and FQS have provided tons of free resources:

Click here for free video tutorial.

Go here to get free Birchen pattern.

Also, Fat Quarter Shop is selling quilt kits if you're interested (click here).

Fun, isn't it? I hope you give this pattern a try. Svetlana

Saturday, February 21, 2015

lola pencil pouch

I woke up way too early this morning and since everyone was still asleep, I decided to do a little quiet clean up in my sewing room. I only managed to put away two or three FQs when I spotted leftover fabric from my Super Tote. At that point all the clean up ideas were completely abandoned and I suddenly had to make a new Lola pouch.

I made a smaller size of the pouch - it's perfect for pencils as well as many other sewing supplies. It also fits my rotary cutters nicely.

Once again I went with striped binding around the zipper as I simply can't resist striped bindings. I might have a problem here :). But really, how can I possibly resist this gorgeous contrast of bright magenta zipper and black and white striped binding ???

I even added a little leather zipper pull which is such a lovely finishing touch for any pouch or bag. I just need to remember to add these little details more often.

All in all, this super quick pouch was a lovely distraction from what I should really be doing and now that it's all finished I'm back to that original clean up plan :(. 

Hope your weekend is off to a good start as well. Svetlana

Oh, by the way, Etsy has finally gotten on board with all that VAT mess so I re-opened my esty store and my pdf patterns are available for purchase worldwide. (insert happy dance here)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

motley wheel pillow

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had the pleasure to test Nicole's (mama love quilts) newest pdf pattern called Motley Wheel - a mini 20" color wheel.

Turns out, it's quite tricky for me to get this rainbow-y color gradation right. But, instead of worrying about my imperfect rainbow I decided to just go with the flow and pretend like the original intent was to make a happy, bright patchwork which I then turned into a pillow. I'm pretty sure one of my nieces will happily take it off my hands :).

I love how each and every spoke of the wheel is exactly the same size and the seams match up beautifully - thanks to Nicole's super detailed instructions and paper piecing templates.

I quilted my pillow top with straight lines ...

... and used this adorable scooter print for the back (once again I went with my trusty hidden zipper back - tutorial here).

My Motley Wheel pillow finished at 20" square and I highly recommend you give this pattern a try. I think it might even be a good way to introduce yourself to paper piecing as Nicole gives super clear instructions with tons of pictures to help along.

So, what do you say? Would you like to make a Motley Wheel of your own? If so, you can buy Nicole's pattern here. Also, I hope you'll pop over to Nicole's blog Mama Love Quilts to see other lovely versions of this pattern.

Thanks for reading friends. Hope you all are staying warm and super cozy these days (our temperatures dropped to -30 degrees today, brrr). Svetlana
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