Q2: 2016 Finish A Long

I missed the first quarter of the 2016 Finish-A-Long but about halfway through when I become aware of it on Instagram (you can find me @amistabaker), I was determined to link up for the 2nd quarter. I love the idea of setting goals to finish WIP's or new projects.

Surprisingly, I've already finished a few of my goals for this quarter. But this week and next week we'll be moving into a new home, so everything will be put on hold until that we are finished and settled.

Spell It With Moda Quilt

IN PROGRESS: This quilt top is finished (yay! lol). Im waiting on the wide backing I ordered to come in the mail, then it will be sent of to be long arm quilted. So excited to finish this! Fabric for letters is mostly Modern Minis by Lori Holt, with a tiny bit of Bonnie & Camille Daysail and Miss Kate prints mixed in. Background is a creamy off-white.

Jelly Roll Jam Quilt 

FINISHED! This quilt pattern is beyond easy and fast. You can read my blog post about it here. I made this for my son in 2 days time and to my surprise, he loves it! Even though he's only 14 months old all he wanted to do was play on (or under) it the second I gave it to him. My plan is to use this around the house, but especially when he's in the stroller to cover his legs.

Fabric for entire quilt is Feed Company by Sweetwater.

Sew Together Bag 

FINISHED! I was terrified of this but had no reason to be. If you were thinking of trying this pattern you definitely should! You can see more pictures and read my blog post with tips for making your own here. And again, this was another 2 day finish for me.

Fabric is Little Miss Sunshine by LellaBoutique and Cloud9 organic solid in Ash.

Amy's Pretty Pockets 

FINISHED! My girls needed some wallets for their money. Now that they're both in school (Preschool and 2nd Grade) field trips, lunch, and other events require them to take money to school which at their young age I'm not always comfortable with. Let's admit it, sometimes it gets lost on accident. I usually send sealed envelopes with their name written on it but the last time i did, someone ripped it open and stole the money. No joke.

So, once I came across the Amy's Pretty Pockets pattern, I knew the 4x6" small one would be great for little wallets for the girls. Again, you can click here to see my blog post with pattern link and more.

Hello Darling Fabric by Bonnie & Camille

Vintage Market fabric by Tasha Noel

Mug Rug

1 of 2 FINISHED! My goal is to make 2 Mug Rug's this quarter. One for myself, and one for a friend as a "thank you" gift. Below is the gift for my friend, which I haven't previously blogged about or posted to social media because I wanted it to be a surprise. The block on the right is 6"x6" and is a modified churn dash block. I used Feed Company fabric by Sweetwater + 'Pewter Ads' print from the Fog City Kity fabric line by Pam Kitty Garden for the low volume background.

Im unsure on the design and fabric for my own personal mug rug yet. But my favorite color is purple which I NEVER sew with, so I'm thinking that will be my fabric goal.

Table Runner 

NOT STARTED: This unfortunately has not been started yet at all. I keep going back & forth on fabric choices and table runner designs. I just cant set my mind on one thing yet! I want it to match my home decor (teal, white and gold with a little black) but i recently went to a painting + wine class and made this cute palette wall decor so I'm thinking of removing black and incorporating coral into my home decor instead. I just don't know!

Below is the sign I made. I LOVE the colors. The "Baker" and flowers have copper / gold accents. Its reflective in real life and soooo pretty! So now my goal is to find a fabric line, or individual prints that go well together, in these colors.

Other things I hope to complete.. 

NOT STARTED: As of todayI also have a Necessary Clutch Wallet, Super Tote, mini quilt, and a Goody Goody Binding Kit added to the list.

... and that's all!

That's it for my 2016 Quarter 2 Finish-A-Long goal list. As you can see, most of them are already finished! (Whew!) You can checkout Clover & Violet's post on what the FAL is all about (which is where I learned about it) and below is a list of hosts for the FAL from Clover and Violet blog.

2016 Community of Hosts:

Jelly Roll Jam Quilt

I finished my son's Jelly Roll Jam quilt today! If i had had the time to sit down for one whole day and do nothing but work on this quilt, it would have been finished in one day. Thats how easy and quick this pattern is!

If you've never heard of it, you can hop on over to Fat Quarter Shop for the PDF tutorial, or to their YouTube channel for the video tutorial (i found it VERY helpful). You can even make 2 - 36" x 36" baby quilts from one Moda jelly roll, which is really awesome.

I used Feed Company fabric by Sweetwater for Moda for the entire quilt including the top, backing, and binding. Not all of the prints can be found in yardage anymore, so I was a bit limited on choice but I lucked out and found a ready made roll of plaid binding from CelesteCreates on Etsy, and a yard of neutral print from the same line for the backing from Gooba Designs on Etsy. The jelly roll was purchased several months ago on an Instagram sale.

Feed Company fabric by Sweetwater for Moda

Lily, the professional quilt holder :)

If you're looking for a quick baby shower gift, this is it! Its easy, fast, and since 1 jelly roll can make 2 baby quilts its cost effective also.

If you're not the sewing or quilting type, for a time i'll be putting a listing in my shop for these also. I have approx. a 3 week turn around time and you can choose the fabrics :)

What I Learned From My First Swap

The Pouch-With-A-View Swap hosted on Instagram recently was my first ever swap. I was nervous, excited.... mostly nervous. I didn't know what to expect or how hard it would be. But there was really nothing to be scared of. And to be honest, now I'm sort of addicted :) I am always looking for open swaps now!

I'll assume at least some of you are reading this because you were searching for swap ideas or info - So from one newbie to another, here's a few tips / thoughts on what to expect from your very first swap.....

The package I received from @charhere was so thoughtful and generous!

  • Expect that lots of people, with varying degrees of sewing capabilities, will be entered in the swap. You'll know exactly who you'll be sending your package too, but usually have no idea who received you as their partner. So the packages are a surprise! For example: I sent my package to someone in California, and the person who received me sent theirs from Alaska to Ohio (where i live). Some are open internationally, and for us we could indicate wether we were willing to pay international shipping, or you'd like to stick with a partner in your own country.
  • Everyone will post a collage (also sometimes called a montage, inspiration board, or mosaic) that details their fabric, color, and design preferences. These are usually made up of several photos found across social media platforms of things your partner loves. Use these to determine what style of swap package to make them.
My 'mosaic' for the Pouch With A View Swap

  • Send extras with your swap item - whatever you can afford. Don't assume it all has to be something bought from the store though. For example: I sent my pouch, a handmade key fob, a hand cut 2.5" stack of Bonnie & Camille fabric, candy, planner supplies, and a handmade pincushion from a small antique picture frame. I used my partners mosaic to guide me in choosing my fabrics and some extras.

  • Be prepared to check in. You'll need to show progress pictures every so many weeks or days and check in with your "Swap Mama" (the person running the swap, or running your group of swap members). For me, my first check in showed my fabric & zipper color choices, the next was a progress photo of the pouch, and after that I uploaded a few shots of the extras (but not all, I kept some secret!). Finally, you'll check in with your Swap Mama, usually on a post of hers or by tagging her on IG, to let her know you're ready to ship.
  • Swap Angels may be needed. These are people who very generously sign up for the swap simply to be an "angel" or someone who send out a package to another person who's partner didn't do what they should have. Which leaves me to my next point......
  • Last but not least, you'll wait for the OK to ship. Not all swaps do this but I encourage you to ask your swap leader if the person who received you is ready to ship when you are, this lessens the chance of people bot getting their swap packages because someone flaked out or forgot about the swap entirely.
Our swap leaders, @countryroadquilts and @mommyhead7 (on Instagram) were great at keeping track of everyone and making it a stress-free swap. My personal Swap Mama was @countryroadquilts and she seemed organized and made sure everyone checked in and said they were finished before telling any of the rest of us it was OK to ship.

I really enjoyed participating in this swap. Not just making the items, and receiving my amazing package from @charhere as well, but checking the instagram feed and seeing everyone else creations. I met knew people and have some new IG buddies as well now also! Overall it was just a great experience. :)

My first Sew Together Bag + Tips

This week I started my very first Sew Together bag (pattern by Sew Demented) using a F8 bundle of Little Miss Sunshine fabrics by LellaBoutique and grey cloud9 solid. I was absolutely terrified to try this pattern - but it was totally not justified! It was so much easier than I thought it would be. The entire bag construction was relatively easy, the only part i struggled with was binding through all the bulk of the bottom part of the bag (side panels). Aside from that it was really fun!

I used the Quilt Barn Sew-A-Long for the entire construction process (aside from cutting my pieces, and piecing + quilting the front panel). Now that i've learned a few things, I wanted to share a few tips with you that I did not find in the tutorial itself, or the Quilt Barn Sew-A-Long that personally helped me. I know we all learn differently so I figure if these helped me, they could help someone else.

Scroll down and keep reading for some beginner tips!

Ok, so on to the tips and tricks! 
These will be helpful if you're new to this pattern.

  • Fabric Choice: Although the tutorial calls for fat quarters, half yards, etc for the main fabric, I did not use any of these. All of my prints were from a fat eighth bundle of fabric. The solid grey was a 1/2 yard of a cloud9 solid which I used for binding and some piecing, but did not use all of. 
  • Piecing & Quilting: When making your front panel, if you want to piece & quilt a special design I suggest making your panel at least 1/4" to 1/2" larger on each side than the pattern calls for. I used 20 - 2.5" squares sewn into two sets of 10. Between the two sets, I added a panel of light grey cloud9 solids fabric and pieced them all together. This gave the bag a solid panel on the bottom and cute patchwork sides. I placed it onto low-loft batting and quilted with straight lines then trimmed the entire panel to the size indicated in the pattern. This allowed me to trim off any skewed edges from the quilting and square up the design with nice clean edges.
  • Binding: Take the extra time to cut bias binding. If you've never done this, checkout this super helpful video tutorial from Londa Rolfing on YouTube. I promise its not that hard and the results are much nicer. You won't get any bunching or puckers in the binding. Also, if you're like me and binding is your weakness, just go slow and steady and use lots of binding clips or pins. I also recommend hand sewing the binding to finish it off.
  • Interfacing: Choosing interfacing is a personal preference, and I know some people are stuck on their favorite but if you've never tried Pellon SF101 (Shape Flex) you definitely should! Its super light weight but still sturdy and doesnt add bulk when sewing.
  • Zippers: First: ZipIt on Etsy sells a Sew Together Bag kit  for $2.30 that comes with the zipper sizes you need for one bag and you pick colors! Second: Don't be afraid!Im sure you can see from the photo below that all these zipper panels are connected together. No, it wasn't that difficult! Believe me you can do it :) Using the tutorial from Quilt Barn (linked above) will be your best friend when it comes to the zipper panels! 

I hope you like my bag and found this blog post at least a little bit helpful! This one will be for sewing notions and tools, but I plan on making another one of these soon maybe to use as a makeup travel bag, or a little kit for the car :)

Thanks for reading!

Modified Amy's Pretty Pockets + Pattern Review

After purchasing the Pouch With A View pattern and being in the Swap for it on Instagram recently, I became obsessed with zipper pouches lol. Im not gonna lie, sometimes I even thought about them in my sleep. The perfect patterns, fabrics, etc etc. It was literally an obsession. Although, I love the vinyl windows in them, I have been thinking about making little wallet / zipper pouches for my girls for money. I don't want those to have a vinyl window, in my mind being able to see their money, change, etc makes it more susceptible to theft (especially at school).

This week. after much searching for the perfect zipper pouch pattern, I landed on Amy's Pretty Pockets by Pretty by Hand and went ahead an purchased it. I started my pouch today and quickly realized that I wanted to modify the pattern just slightly by binding the outside edge of the pouches in the same way the zipper is bound.


This is an unsolicited pattern review, but I felt like the affordability and ease of this pattern deserved mention. The 'pockets' come in 3 sizes, and you get all 3 for $5.95 which is really cheap compared to some others I found in the $9-$12 range.

Zipper installation was SO ridiculously EASY. I cannot stress this enough. Bound zippers are nothing to be scared of. In all honesty, this is now my favorite method ever of installing a zipper. I absolutely loved it. Even a skilled beginner could follow this pattern with ease and you will have so much fun making them!

I can't wait to make more! :)