Friday 30 October 2015

The Sewmiriam Tote Bag

Busy, busy, one TWO ! This week I have the new Sewmiriam Tote Bag to share with you.

There seems to be just the best fabrics ever now hitting the quilting shops in Sydney. There are some fabulous big and bold prints. These can often be a challenge for the quilter, as the fabrics are strong in their visual impact, and can stand alone, so using them  in quilts can be daunting. However, they do make wonderful quilts, when the fabrics are allowed to be the 'show offs' that they are!! I love using them in bags, and the penguin print deserves to be a standout, with the surrounding fabrics being enhancers, rather than competitors in the bag above.

 So too does this wonderful Alexander Henry print

which  I have used to make a bright tote as well..

I have been experimenting with batting and am now a convert to the Soft and Stable ByAnnie wadding which makes for - yes you guessed it - a soft, yet stable bag . This can also be achieved by using bag batting , which provides the rigidity needed for a larger tote, but I just found using the Soft and Stable was easier to manage when sewing and provides a nice feel and textured look to the finished product.

My new tote bag also features a professional finish zippered pocket

I like to use professional handles as well. The clip on handles are a great choice, as you can make several tote bag shells,  and you only need just one set of handles . Now - that's handy! 

Thank you for your support on Instagram! From this, there have been two workshops planned at Cottage Quiltworks - Friday 13th November , and Saturday 14th November, so you have choice!  Places are filling fast, so if you are interested, please book soon. 

Meanwhile, the workroom is all set for a workshop tomorrow on the Handy Ziptop Bag. There are a group of ladies coming down from Newcastle, and I can't wait to meet them. 

I hope you have had a chance this week to sit and sew.

Happy sewing, Miriamx 

Thursday 22 October 2015

2 kinds of NEW

 Maybe  because it is Spring, or maybe its just because …..

there is a Sewmiriam workshop coming up at the end of next week, that  my mind has turned towards the Handy Ziptop Bag. Since most of the bags I have made now have wonderful homes both near and  far, I thought  this time I might be selfish and make one just for me.

I am really happy with how it turned out. This is the front, 

and this is the back...

Even the inside pocket is kind of cute ...

I added a double sided hexagon as a trim for  the zipper. This is easy to do and lifts a bag from nice to Wow!

And then …. my mind turned towards making a new tote bag design. But more about that next time . Can't wait? If you follow me on Instagram  @sewmiriam you will see a sneak peak photo. 

Happy sewing, Miriamx

Friday 16 October 2015

Hall of Fame - Part Three

It is time once again to showcase the Sewmiriam bags that have been made at or after one of my workshops. It appears that once you know how to make one, it is hard to stop. 

Toni has made this beautiful bag with a lovely French theme.  I love it Toni! 

Sandy is really sewing up a storm , with these two beauties. The backs are equally as fabulous

Susan has made this autumnal Handy Zip top bag , and this matching larger bag. Sue has cleverly combined her fabrics to make stunning bags.

I think that many lucky friends and relatives are going to be delighted this Christmas to receive one made especially for them, by the creative ladies who have come to make them at a workshop this year. 

I am now busy preparing for the next Sewmiriam workshop . A group of talented ladies are coming down from Newcastle for what I know will be a day full of laughter and creativity. Can't wait!

Happy sewing , Miriamx 

Friday 9 October 2015

A little Japanese Quilt

This week I have started work on a 22 inch square quilt using Japanese fabrics. I had a few 6 inch squares of Japanese fabrics, and using 1 1/2  inch and 2 inch strips cut from these squares I began.

In this small quilt, I have used the pineapple block as the central block. The block was made using foundation piecing to ensure precision piecing. 

I loved placing the leaping bunny in the centre. 

The pineapple just kept growing... 

The pineapple block is versatile , creating different effects , depending on your fabric placement. 

When the central block was finished I then started to add borders...

And borders...

And borders...

And more borders until  I was happy with the overall effect..

Lots of borders?? And all  mitred?? Well , actually no.

just made one mitred border by cleverly cutting  one striped Japanese fabric to create the illusion of many borders. Here is the fabric uncut.

That's a neat trick to keep in mind when you need to make a quilt quickly! 

Thank you for stopping by. You are always welcome ! 

Happy sewing, love Miriamx 

Thursday 1 October 2015

Pikelets Workshop - a Celebration of Talent!

When a group of talented ladies gets together and sets to a day of fun sewing, the results are always bound to impress. The ladies who joined me for the Pikelets workshop last week at Cottage Quiltworks   are all amazing. Grab a coffee, or tea and enjoy this celebration of their work. This is a long post, but how could I not share these with you all!

I love the way this pattern allows the quilter to make it their own, by the choice of fabrics and the combinations they create. You can build on these blocks and make the finished product as small or as large as you desire. In just one day, each of the ladies had made at least one 4 pikelet rosette covering all the techniques needed to continue on with a larger project. The more they make, the quicker the process will become. Another great thing about this technique is that it creates a fully reversible quilt. Read on, and you will see what I mean. How can  you choose  which side to show as the front, when both look so stunning. 

Helen B created beautiful pieces using a selection of grays and taupes.

The back ..

The front ...

Josephine chose to use a variety of bright prints with a dark focus fabric for contrast. The effect was stunning . Here is the front..

Here is the back . I don't know about you, but I think I like them equally, so this pattern is indeed a truly reversible one. 

Louise wanted to create a table runner for a friend using Japanese fabrics. She is well on the way to making a gorgeous one.

The front...

The back....

Sue  has started to use up her stash of 'ugly fabrics' and is turning them into a fabulous quilt. Just goes to show what a talented quilter can do with fabrics that might  otherwise be never used or tossed! Well done Sue.

From this...

To this ! Scrappy quilts are always so engaging to look at. I love them, and I love this one Sue.

Tula Pink is a favourite fabric designer of mine, and Nancy chose a variety of her fabrics, paired with a gentle batik to creat this for the back.

And this for the front

Just imagine how beautiful the quilt will be when finished.

Dee is a wonderful quilter, who doesn't know just how good she is. Take a look at the beautiful work she did in just one day!

Here are her fabrics. Great combinations Dee... 

Here is her block. First the front

And just sit back and admire the back

Helen bought in a selection of Balinese style fabrics. She chopped them up and created these beauties. There is something ethereal about soft, worn batiks that I just adore. Imagine a loved one snuggling under this quilt when finished.

The front 

The back..

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blogpost as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you. Thank you Sue, Louise, Helen, Helen B , Dee , Nancy and Josephine for such an enjoyable workshop. You make me humbled and proud to be a teacher.  

A long post for a long weekend here in Australia!! While watching the finals of AFL and the NRL, I may just get a bit of hand sewing done. Hope you do too! 

Happy sewing , love Miriamx