Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year, New Name!

The short version: Since I've been posting a lot of non-quilt items, I decided to change the name of this blog to Lunebeam instead of Lunebeam Quilts. I'm so sorry for any confusion!

The updated blog link is:

The longer version: I have loved sewing since I was a child. I have also loved bags for as long as I can remember. Naturally then, I have sewn bags, quilts, and other projects since I started sewing. I was hoping to showcase more quilts, but honestly, I love making other things too. Hence, I wanted a more inclusive blog name since I do not see myself as a an exclusive quilter. Don't worry though, I will still be doing quilts, but I will have a lot of other projects too!

Below is the latest bag I am working on. It is called the Galapagos Bag from the book The Better Bag Maker by Nicole Mallalieu. The fabrics are from Katarina Roccella's collection Wonderland for Art Gallery Fabrics.

For more sneak peaks on my latest work, follow me on Instagram @lunebeam !!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Heather Ross Everything Tote

Three totes hanging out
This is the delayed post I mentioned before. The blue/green bag is now in Norway, so I can safely post pictures!

This bag pattern is from Heather Ross' book Weekend Sewing. It is the project called Everything Tote. While the instructions underestimate the fabric needed, this wasn't a problem at all for me since I tend to by more than required since I like to orient patterns to match the direction of the print. Just know going into this bag, you will need more of the lining and outer fabric assuming standard 44/45" width of fabric.

I am a huge fan of Heather Ross fabrics and have a good horde of the unicorn fabric she made. I only want to make special things with my beloved unicorns, so this bag seemed perfect. The first bag I made was out of organic cotton duck canvas in plum with Heather Ross' Far Far Away Unicorns on white. The second bag was made from grey brushed canvas with the unicorns in purple (the color of the fabric differs a bit from what the website shows). The third bag was made, as a gift, in organic cotton duck canvas in navy with the unicorns in green. See a pattern here?

All the bags are basically the same, except I added a key hook in the blue/green one.
I love Heather Ross' whimsical style and I am eagerly awaiting Heather Ross' Mendocino reprint this spring!

I also made a fourth bag with the organic cotton duck in plum lined with a cat print called Garden Buzz from Hancock Fabrics as a gift for a cat lover who gardens. Alas, I gave it away without taking pictures!

These bags were made Summer-Fall 2015. The navy bag with the green unicorns was sent as a Christmas gift, so this post was delayed until she received her bag. The unicorns are now in Norway, having wonderful adventures!

I have kept the purple/white and grey/purple bags for myself. They are now my go to traveling and shopping totes. They compact down easily, yet can carry a lot of volume and weight!

The bag that was given as a Christmas gift. I added a little four leaf clover since the recipient likes them. It also has a key hook that the others lack.
As always, I had some kitty help. There are actually two different cats pictured, they just look very similar.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

December Update

I just wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays! Since the New Year is fast approaching, I wanted to give you a hint of what to expect in 2016.

First, I have a post about another bag I made, but since it is a Christmas gift, I have delayed the post little. Once the recipients get their gift, expect to see it!

Second, I wanted to give a sneak peak on a quilt I've been working on for a while. Its Moxie by Tula Pink. While the original fabrics in the pattern are now out of print, I have made my own rainbow version in a class offered at In the Making (fabric kit can be bought here). I'm waiting to post the whole quilt until it is quilted and bound (quilting is currently in progress).

Third, I am still working on the Triangle Quilt (see post 1 here and 2 here). I know I haven't finished it yet, but I have completed over half the rows. Sewing all those triangles was a lot more time consuming than originally thought. They also have to be sewn very carefully due to raw edges being exposed and having a lot of stretch to them.

I am also working on some other small projects right now, including drawstrings bag and a quilted duffel!

Finally, here are some projects I have planned for 2016!

Tula Pink's flower market quilt in amethyst. Pattern is free download found here.
In the Making is offering a class and quilt kit on this in January, so the quilt top will be done then.

I got this amazing coat pattern by McCall's M7256 on sale on Black Friday. I would love to make this coat out of wool, but since I've never done clothing before, I want to do a test run first in just cotton (it is much cheaper and if I mess up, it won't cost as much as messing up on wool!). I have tentatively picked the colors shown on the right for the coat, but that may change.

And some new fabric lines I'm interested in are coming out in 2016:
  • Heather Ross is coming out with a reprint of her Mendocino line in March. There is a seahorse quilt in her look book which can be viewed here. The pattern is not listed yet, but I can't wait for this line and love the seahorse quilt. This quilt is on my 2016 wish list of things to do!
  • Tula Pink is also introducing a new small line called Chipper. I love the purple colorway and hope to make some things from it.

I hope everyone has a great time this Christmas with friends and family! I hope you check back in the New Year to see what I've been up to!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

3 Zip Pouch

My third pouch
I wanted to experiment with some shapes for pouches. I started out on my own and had some good and some not so good attempts. Out of frustration I just wanted something that would work, so I looked around on Google for zippered pouch tutorials. A Quilter's Table triple zip pouch tutorial caught my eye. This tutorial tells you everything you need you need to know to make a 3 zip pouch except how to finish it. While there are written instructions, there are no pictures and I found them hard to follow. Apparently I wasn't the only with this problem, so Marci Girl Designs came up with an alternative ending. With the alternative ending, I was able to complete my pouches without any problems!

I made my first two pouches in the exact size listed in the original tutorial. For my third one, I experimented by increasing dimensions to get a larger pouch. I also left out the interfacing in the last one and used thick cotton to help give some shape. It does not give as much shape as the interfacing, but in my opinion, gives enough form. Interfacing and other synthetics are not my favorite to use, so I try to avoid them when at all possible.

My first pouch, given as a Christmas gift
My first pouch was created to match the black canvas lined tote I made. This pouch is a Christmas gift for the same recipient as the bag. I thought they would enjoy having a matching pouch made from the same canvas fabric.

My second and third pouches. 
The second and third pouches were made from Tula Pink's Elizabeth line (the third one has some Eden as a liner). The main outer fabric of them is called Ship Shape. I absolutely love the detail in this fabric from the stars, to the pelicans, to the ships!

The second pouch

Sunday, December 13, 2015


When I cut my fabrics, especially when I fussy cut, I end up with a fair amount of scraps left over. I try to save any scrap that is at least an inch by inch big, since those can be used in other projects later. The problem is what to do with them in the meantime.

All my Tula Pink scraps. The smallest scraps are in the Ziploc bag, while larger cuts are just in the box.

I have seen people use old glass jars before, but I found those to be too bulky. I'm also prone to breaking glass, so they posed a bit of safety hazard.

I began using shoe boxes, but then realized that Sephora's Christmas gift boxes are perfect and look much nicer! They are great boxes with two magnets on the flap to hold the box closed. Sephora offers these boxes in two sizes, and they are usually complimentary with your purchase during the holidays (while supplies last; may not apply in other countries). Online, I believe they charge for them, but I have never been charged in stores. Since I get my makeup there anyway, it's not hard to get a box with my purchase. The lady even gave me three boxes even though I only got two items. She told me that I'm not the only person who likes to use them for storage!
This year's box collection (note I only got 3 boxes, but wanted to show off the side view too)
The large box is approximately 10 x 9 x 4 inches
The small box is approximately 8 x 7 x 4 inches

These are such nice boxes and will look great year round!

My scrap boxes. From left to right: Any scraps, Heather Ross scraps, Tula Pink scraps. 

My large box from a prior year. It currently hold thread. I definitely prefer this year's boxes since this box looks more seasonal.

Thanks Sephora for these great boxes. I just wish you had these year round!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Unicorn Pillowcase

Note: This pillowcase was actually made Summer 2015, I just totally forgot to post about it! All the photos of the pillowcase were taken in December 2015, after many washes.

This past summer, In the Making had a class on making a pillowcase. While a pillowcase may seem simple, they used a wonderful pattern found in the book School of Sewing. Using this method, there were absolutely no exposed edges anywhere in the pillow. This gave a beautiful look and I know my fabric will not unravel, despite being washed a fair bit.

The inside seams are beautifully hidden so no raw edges are exposed
For my main fabric, I used the unicorns in white and purple from Heather Ross' Far Far Away reprint. This is probably my all time favorite fabric! Sadly, it is now very difficult to find. For the flare, I used an orange and white print that I don't know the name of, it just happened to match well.

The pattern in the book is for a standard pillowcase. We have a king bed and king sized pillows at home, so I just elongated the main part of the pillowcase to fit my pillow. It actually turned out a little too long, but it was easy to take in the one edge.

The orange flare added that extra touch to what could have been a basic pillowcase

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Butterick 5658 Tote Bag

Apart from kitty litter, the other thing I wanted to get on Black Friday was some sewing notions at Hancock Fabrics while they were on sale. They also had all their patterns on sale, so I looked through them to see if anything caught my eye. Since I have a thing for bags, I naturally looked through the bag patterns. Very few interested me except for Butterick 5658 . I haven't really used these types of patterns much, but since it was on sale, I figured I would give it try.

Butterick 5658
Anyway, with my love for bags, I couldn't wait to start on this one! It didn't hurt that I got some new fabric from my quilt shop in Georgia on Small Business Saturday! Since this pattern came with instructions for four different bags, I decided to make bag D first (it is very similar to bag C).

On the left are fabrics from Eden (on top of the canvas) and the right are fabrics from Elizabeth.
The print with lotuses and tigers on it is left over from my USA Quilt backing, so I only had limited amounts.
I wanted to do more than just a canvas shell, so I decided to use some of my beloved Tula Pink fabrics. All the printed fabrics used came from her Elizabeth and Eden lines. I also some plum colored canvas. Since the canvas has a lot of body to it, it didn't need any lining/interfacing. I have used interfacing before. However, it is not my favorite, so I lined the Tula Pink fabrics with unbleached cotton cloth (thicker than quilting cotton weight but not as thick as canvas). So far this seems to have provided the structure I want, but time will really tell!

First distraction occurred before I could even cut the pattern!
This bag took me about 2 full days to complete. It probably could have been faster if I didn't have distractions (i.e. pets) and if I didn't choose to alter the pattern. While the pattern was very good, I knew I would want more interior pockets, a zippered top, and a different handle.

Thus, I made the outer shell first, since that would not have many changes (except for on extra pocket on the back). I used Tula Pink's Astraea in Plum from her Elizabeth line as the main print. The plum colored canvas came from JoAnn fabrics (their canvas colors vary by dye lot of the bolt, so there was great variation in the colors they had under the same name). I wanted to fully assemble the outside, so I knew what size zipper would best suit the bag. 

The zipper pressed and waiting to go in. I cut it extra wide knowing I could trim excess off later.
On the inner linings, I added my zipper where the pattern made two different fabrics meet. I ended up using a 14 inch zipper (18 inch was way too long, 12 inch would have worked but I didn't want that big a gap at the top). I wanted my zipper to be able to lay flat in the bag when opened, so I only sewed the long ends into the bag.

A close up of one interior side. I wanted to focus on the tiger since this is the only place it appears
I also added two zipper pockets (one on each side, one is 7 inches in teal and the other is 9 inches in purple) and two slip pockets instead of the one smaller pocket the pattern had. I also made my pockets a little decorative since I knew I would have this bag for a while!

Finally I was ready to assemble the whole bag! Once assembled, I decided that the handles were not to my taste, so I altered them to a style that better suited me. This was great because it also allowed me to add a hook for my keys!

Interior view of the bag. Key hook shown in top left
This bag turned out a lot bigger than I expected, but this is great since there is room for everything! I haven't utilized the outer pockets much, but I expect they will be great for a water bottle or umbrella.

The view of the back of the bag, complete with extra outside pocket
Overall, this is a great pattern to follow. I had no problems with the directions and it was easy to make my modifications.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Eva Charm Pack Quilt

Note: This quilt and post was actually completed in the first week of October, but I was mailing to a friend with a young child. In order to not ruin the surprise, I have delayed publishing this post. I also must say, while I am slow getting to the post office, the postal service had this package delivered to Europe in only 8 days (and it was over Thanksgiving too)!

The photogenic one with the quilt

After completing my Halloween quilt, I got a new sewing machine for my birthday. My last machine was a second hand machine that I got over 10 years ago. It was an inexpensive Brother machine that just did the basics, was missing all extra attachments, and used 220 volts and I now live in the US and have to use a converter to get it to work with 110 volts. When it started skipping stitches frequently I knew it was time for a new machine!

I decided on the Brother CS6000i for my new machine. I didn't want to break the bank for a new machine, but I wanted one I could experiment a bit with. I loved that this one included most of the the extra feet and would allow me to try out some new stitches. So far it has worked very well for me and I can't complain at all. I've always had a bad habit of breaking needles, but I have yet to break one on this machine. I attribute this to the fact that the machine will stop if the needle meets too much resistance (ie too much fabric) and an error code will appear. The only thing I have to remember is the computer resets each time I turn off the machine, so I have to key in the stitch I want again. This is not a big deal at all and I've already started to get into the habitat of checking I'm on the right stitch.

Anyway to try out my new machine, I wanted to do a nice simple quilt. Since my first baby quilt was very small using only one charm pack, I wanted to make a quilt using two charm packs. The quilt shop I like to visit in Georgia had a great selection of charm packs on sale, so I thought it was perfect opportunity to try this out. I really like the colors in the Eva by Basic Grey for Moda line, so I decided to go with it.

The charm packs have 42, 5 inch squares in them. I wanted to do a square quilt though, so I only used 81 to make a 9 square by square quilt (I have 3 leftover). 

The quilt sandwich waiting to be quilted
Post quilting and removal of pins, complete with cat

The quilting was done using my new walking foot and simple straight lines. There are actually three lines near seam, but the middle one was done in the ditch style. The other two lines are measure out from this center line.

The finished quilt!

I wanted to try piecing the back fabric together this time, so I added an accent line on the backing. The binding and backing pieces are all prints from the same Eva line.

A view of the back of the quilt

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Holiday Projects

This year I have made two holiday themed projects for my Christmas decorations. I like to craft in addition to sewing, so these were easy, fun projects that could be completed in an afternoon.

Christmas Tree

I happen to have access to a great system of libraries in Jefferson County, Alabama  (the county in which Birmingham is located). Most of these libraries offer a free craft night (or morning) for those interested. You do have to sign up in advanced, and they often fill up fast. If you are interested in crafting though, they are great to go to, so be sure to check out your local library!

For November, the Hoover Public library had a class on making either a holiday wreath or tree. I wanted to do a tree, so I selected that project. The base of the tree is an upside down clay pot base painted white with a foam cone glued onto it. Everyone making a tree was provided with that. What you did from there was totally up to you! The library provided various supplies including, but not limited to, fabric, yarn, glitter, pens, tinsel, pipe cleaners, beads, ribbons, sequence, paper cutouts, fake gems, glittery Styrofoam balls, and mini pompoms. They also had various supplies for constructing your project including glue guns, tacky glue, needle and thread, and pins.

For my tree, I wrapped yarn around it and secured it with hot glue. It actually took much longer than I thought it would to glue each row down! I knew I wanted to keep my tree simple, so I selected a green ribbon with gold sequins on it to decorate the tree with. I experimented with various bows before settling on the final version. I wanted to have some ribbon drape down the tree for extra color too. The other ladies in the class had the excellent idea of using a pin to hold the ribbon down in areas for extra volume. The ornaments on the tree are actually pins that I pushed into the tree. I like the little bit of color they add without being overpowering.

To add a little color to the base, I painted a thin layer of gold glitter over it. It is hard to see in the pictures, but added a nice finishing touch.

I promptly had to put the tree out of cat reach. Anything shiny and new seems to attract them!

Mesh Wreath

Every year on Black Friday, we start out the day by going to Petsmart to stock up on kitty litter for the next year. It's not a fun trip, but it saves up a bunch of money since, anyone who has cats knows, they use a lot of it!

There's nothing else we needed that day, but while I'm out, I like to go see what else I may enjoy. I have been eyeing those cute mesh wreaths for a while now, so when I saw the mesh on sale, I knew it was time! I wanted a festive wreath that I could longer than just in December, so I went with gold mesh and a dark red ribbon trimmed in gold.

Making of the wreath with all my supplies

Making the wreath itself is very easy. I just followed a YouTube video on how to attach it down. The only problem I had was I put the mesh down too close to itself and ran out of mesh half way through. Hence, I took it all off and put it on with more spacing. I was still running out of mesh before I got all the way around and decided to just put a big bow there rather than undo the whole thing again. I think I ran out of mesh because I had an 18 inch wreath form. To complete it all the way around with one roll of mesh, I should have gotten a 16 inch form.

I still really like how it turned it. To make this wreath, I used:

  • One 21 inch by 10 yard roll of mesh
  • One 2.5 inch by 25 feet roll of ribbon
  • One 18 inch wire wreath form
  • Old twist ties to hold things down to the wreath form (I have a collection of them in a kitchen drawer so I wanted to use them instead of buying wire to tie things down)

With the holiday sales, this wreath cost less than $10 in supplies to make! There was nothing left over, so you would definitely need more to make a larger wreath.

All that was left of my supplies