Thursday, October 8, 2015

scraps {a finished quilt}

I started this quilt way back in August, completely on a whim, deciding one evening to just dig into my scrap baskets and making some improv pieced blocks.  I had no real plan for the blocks, I didn't even know if they would ever become something useful, but since they were fun to make I didn't mind :).

I did like the blocks though. I liked them a lot, which meant they totally needed to become a quilt. I used lots of low volume scraps to join them into one continuous patchwork and then I got stuck. My patchwork was not big enough for the lap sized quilt I was going for, and I didn't feel like making more blocks, so I set it aside for a while to have time to think. (I don't do this very often as I usually want to finish my projects right away and I'm glad I forced myself to be patient and took time to think over what the next step should be)

At the end I added scrappy low volume borders and brought the size of the quilt to 51" x 68". I wanted to keep this quilt for our home, so I went with minky backing as that's the only kind of quilts my kids like. I can't really blame them, minky makes for such super soft and snuggly quilts.

I did an overall straight line quilting about 1" apart to bring all the scrappy goodness into one cohesive quilt. And, I didn't even have to mark my lines. I actually flipped the quilt sandwich minky side up and used minky chevron pattern as my quilting guide. Worked like a charm.

 Now, I've always been a huge fan of Mary's beautiful quilts where she combines machine and hand quilting, so I decided it was finally time I gave it a try. I did a few random lines along the width of the quilt and I couldn't be happier with the result. 

Red and white striped binding seemed like an obvious choice, so I didn't fight the obvious and went with it. Such a bright, happy way to frame all the scrappy goodness.

Thanks for reading. Svetlana

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


For some reason I started my day feeling all grumpy and tired, totally not in a mood for anything :(. 

So I decided to take a break from things that needed my attention and made this super lovely and happy looking block using AmandaJean's pattern Trees! . You know what? This was just what I needed and things suddenly didn't seem as gloomy anymore :). I'm sure you know what I mean, right?

This block is inspired by Mary's fabulous mini. I'm thinking of making a few more trees and combining them with my sawtooth star blocks into one fun red and white Christmas quilt.

And now it's back to deadline sewing. Lots of binding to hand stitch.

Have a lovely rest of the day, friends. Svetlana

Linking up to Lee's WIP Wednesday.

Monday, October 5, 2015

sophia pouch {a new pdf pattern}

Happy Monday, friends!

It's been a while since I finished a new pdf pattern so it feels especially good to show you my newest Sophia Pouch. I must admit, I'm kind of in love with this pouch and I hope you'll like this pattern as much as I do.

The pouch finishes at 8.5” wide x 5” tall x 1” deep which is a perfect size for keeping make up, pencils, or sewing/craft supplies in. Plus, it has two pockets - one small slip pocket on the inside, and one exterior pocket to help keep things organized.

And then there's that contrasting piping which frames the pouch so beautifully. And zipper binding, of course. This is my very favorite way to install zipper in pouches as it's pretty easy to do (no zipper foot required) and allows for the pouch to be open wide.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Once again, I've enlisted help of some super talented ladies to test the pattern for me. I just love seeing how one pattern can lead to so many different, very beautiful versions of finished pouches. Enjoy!

Melissa made this striking Sophia pouch. Her combination of linen and bright graphic quilting cotton, as well as crosshatch binding is just perfect.

This pretty, beautifully made pouch is Lynn's lovely creation. Such a sweet pouch.

Now, if piping is not for you, you can definitely skip it. Just look at this gorgeous AMH pouch my friend Rachel sewed up. I love how Rachel already put it to use and keeps her applique supplies in.

Paula sewed up this super sweet Heather Ross pouch.  Makes me want to go and chase down some Far Far Away fabric right away :).

Jan made this adorable Paris inspired Sophia pouch. What a fun combination of text, Eiffel towers, and dots. Love, love, love.

And how fun are these russian nesting dolls Mariana used for her pouch? I so adore the addition of sashiko stitching to outline the dolls. Perfection for sure.

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

So, what do you say? Would you like to make a Sophia pouch of your own?

Here's the list of materials needed for this pouch:
¼ yard fabric A (exterior + lining pocket)
¼ yard fabric B (lining)
1 FE fabric C (exterior pocket)
2 ¼” x 23” strip of fabric D (zipper binding and zipper tab)
¾ yard SF101 interfacing (or other medium weight fusible interfacing of choice)
1 ½ yard store bought 0.5” wide bias piping
12” or longer nylon zipper
2” x ½” strip of Velcro (hook and loop closure)
zipper pull (optional)

And, you can purchase this instant download pdf pattern by directly clicking on the link below, or by going to my Etsy shop. I'm offering Sophia Pouch pattern at introductory price of $6.00 for the next 48 hours. After that the price will go up to $8.00.

Thank you for your support. Svetlana

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

wood base pincushion {a tutorial}

Recently I came across the most wonderful online shop called  Beyond Measure. The shop is described as "a place selling beautiful things for folk who make" and, to my delight, it really is true. It's full of unique, beautifully made items and sewing supplies I have not come across before. Not surprisingly, I fell completely in love with their wood base pincushions.

And then, as luck would have it, I was at the store and came across some adorable wooden dip bowls. Which got my wheels turning, of course. I bought a few of the bowls, scrapped the rest of my shopping plans, and rushed home like a maniac to try to make my own wood base pincushions :). I know I'm not the only one who does these things, right?

I won't lie. It took a while for me to finally figure out how to have as few puckers in the fabric as possible but once I was finished I could not help staring at my most adorable stack of pincushions and grinning. 

And then I thought some of you might like to make a pincushion, or two, as well. So, I sent an email to Grace (owner of Beyond Measure) and she very kindly gave me permission to share this tutorial with you (since my pincushions are 100% inspired by Grace's I wanted to make sure she was on board with me sharing my tutorial).

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Please note, this tutorial shows how I made my pincushions. I'm in no way shape or form implying it's how Beyond Measure pincushions are made (because I have absolutely no idea how they make theirs) .

To make one pincushion, you will need:

one wooden base (mine is a 2 1/4" diameter dip bowl bought at World Market)
4.5" diameter fabric circle (you will need a bigger circle if your bowl is bigger than mine)
polyester fiberfill
sewing supplies
strong thread (I used 2 strands of embroidery thread)
glue (your choice, just make sure it's strong enough to hold fabric and wood base together)

 1. Use running stitch and about 3/8" seam allowance and stitch all the way around the perimeter of the fabric circle. Make sure to leave a 3" tail when you begin your stitches. Leave a 3" tail when you finish stitching as well.

2. Start gathering the fabric by pulling both tread ends at the same time. Go slow, make sure the fabric is spread out evenly. You're forming a little pouch of sorts.

3. Stuff the little "fabric pouch" with polyester fiberfill. Don't overfill it, try to see how much fiberfill can fit into your wooden base and go from there. Use your fingers to push and form the fiberfill inside the little pouch, try to make it as round as possible and do your best to eliminate puckers. Also, place it in your base from time to time to see if you need to pull on the tread more to make it smaller, or loosen the thread to make it bigger. The fiberfill pouch should fit snugly into the base. Once you have the size and shape you're going for, tie the thread ends together. Make a strong double or triple knot.

4. Apply glue to the inside of wood base about 1/4" from the top. Go all the way around, don't overdo it on glue, but do make sure there's enough of it.

5. Press squishy pincushion top gently but firmly into the base. Hold your hand over it for a little bit to make sure glue holds the top and let the glue dry.

6. Once the glue is dry (shouldn't take too long, mine was fine after about 20 min), add some pins to your pincushion and admire.

Hope you have tons of fun using your new super cute wood base pincushion. And, as always, if you make a project using any of my tutorials please add it to my Flickr group or use #sotakhandmade if posting on Instagram. I love seeing all your amazing creations.


Monday, September 28, 2015

homestead blog hop {plus a giveaway}

Hello everyone,

welcome to my stop celebrating release of Homestead fabric by Emily Isabella for Birch Fabrics.  

This adorable collection is available both as organic poplin and organic knit. It was my first time working with Birch organic poplin so I was not sure what to expect. I had no idea I was in for such a treat. This fabric is soft, drapes beautifully, and is a dream to sew with. Plus, it's organic!!! Which I really, really love.

I chose Daisy Bed Sun and Daisy Bed Storm for my projects. I combined these beautifully soft flowers on yellow background with solid gray fabric for the front of my pillow, and saved the navy print for the back.

I quilted both front and back of the pillow cover in a grid  pattern, my lines are about 1/2" apart as I love the texture this kind of quilting adds to finished projects.

And, since I still had some fabric left once my pillow was made, I went ahead and made a Lola pouch (pattern here) and the most adorable wooden base pincushion (inspired by this beauty).  I so love how these turned out.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Birch Fabrics is giving away 1 yard of each fabric (either poplin or knit) to one lucky winner. Please use a widget below to enter.

Also, I hope you visit these talented peeps to see their gorgeous Homestead makes.

Friday, September 25, 2015

welded quilt

Hello friends,

 I have a new quilt to show you today. Art Gallery Fabrics and Fat Quarter Shop teamed up once again and released this fun, beginner friendly pattern called Welded.

 I really enjoyed making this quilt. It's been a while since I made a regular sized quilt using a pattern so this was a lovely change of pace for me. No need to take a gazillion notes as I sewed, no need to do my own math, just pure joy of sewing with no interruptions :). And, there's even a free video tutorial on how to make this quilt. Doesn't get better than that, does it?

I wanted this to be a "boy friendly" quilt so I decided to only use gray, blue, and white fabrics. All the fabrics are from Imprint and Wonderland collections by Katarina Rocella for AGF. I've become quite a fan of Katarina and I just love how perfectly her collections play together.

Finished size of this quilt is 61" x 79".

And, just so you know, Fat Quarter Shop is selling kits to make your own Welded, click here if interested.

Hope you'll pop on over to these lovely folks to see their versions of Welded.

John of Quilt Dad
Kitty of Night Quilter
Michele-Renee of Quilt Matters
Svetlana of Sotak Handmade
Caroline of Sew Caroline
Riane of Vessel Quilts
Megan of Quilt Story
Kaye of Miss Print
Natalia of Piece N Quilt

Wishing you all a super lovely weekend. Svetlana

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

sewing box

Last few weeks I've been kind of obsessed with finding a wooden accordion style vintage sewing box. So, when I spotted one at our local antique store I was more than ecstatic. It's made in Norway sometime around 1950s and is in pretty good condition (just a little bit of damage to one drawer). 

I love how big it is, it will fit tons of  my epp and hand sewing supplies. Plus, I really love having a sewing box that belonged to someone else many, many years ago.

Now just to find a Singer Featherweight in good working condition and I'll be all set :).

Talk to you soon. Svetlana

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