Ladies Who Lunch

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Shortly before Christmas, I was contacted by the husband of a dear friend with a special request: to make his wife a new lunch bag for him to gift her for Christmas. My friend is a maker herself; she crafts beautiful minimalist jewelry and I am (no joke) her best customer - go check out her shop on Etsy, but be forewarned, there is no way you can browse her creations without at least one piece magically appearing in your cart.

I have a good sense of M’s aesthetic, so I knew I wanted to work in denims or linens and her hubby was kind enough to send me some pics as inspiration. We worked to together to settle on a boxy shape and I set about searching for a pattern that would be well suited for our needs. I settled on the Kismet Trinket Box pattern by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness. I’ve long admired Sara’s bags but had yet to try one of her patterns, so I opted to purchase the pattern and an accompanying video tutorial. Although Sara’s pattern was clear, well-written, and included full-color photos, it was helpful to have the video to accompany me through my own sewing process. I selected the largest size rectangular box, some herringbone denim, and a vintage metal zipper I had on hand and got to work.

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Comparing my first attempt and my final version after adapting the pattern.

Comparing my first attempt and my final version after adapting the pattern.

When I finished the piece, it turned out to be to small to be well-suited for it’s future as a lunch box so I bravely attempted to adapt the pattern on my own. I’m so happy to report that my redraft worked wonderfully and is the perfect size for M to tote her lunch to and from her job as a middle school teacher (sorry, I wrapped it up for gifting and forgot to take final measurements… oops.)

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I used metal zipper I had on hand from Zipit Zippers, Essex yarn-dyed linen in nautical for the exterior, a Cotton + Steel print for the handle, and a Loominous print from Anna Maria Horner. I used both Pellon fusible fleece and Shape-Flex 101 to give the bag it’s structure and body. I love that this bag is fully machine washable since it’s meant to stand up to daily (and potentially messy) use.

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I hope that it’s being well-loved and used this school week! Such a privilege to be involved in this sweet couple’s holiday gifting!

"Twinkle Lights" - A Christmas Quilt

I have just finished a season where I have been SO busy making that I haven’t had much time for sharing! Craft show prep entailed TONS of zipper pouches, canvas totes, and coffee sleeves, but I also really wanted to have a Christmas quilt to feature at the event. Without further ado, I present to you: “Twinkle Lights”!

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I made this quilt using the Sparkle Punch Quilt tutorial by the fabulous Elizabeth Hartman and I used a bunch of Cotton + Steel fabrics both from my personal stash and from Stash Fabrics. Originally, I had planned to do an isosceles triangle quilt, but the more I stared at my fabric piles, the more I couldn’t shake the idea that they needed to become a sparkle punch quilt. The vision of twinkle lights on a Christmas tree was my inspiration, so I ran with it.

Here’s a shot of the top…

Here’s a shot of the top…

… and one of the pieced back

… and one of the pieced back

I opted for tone-on-tone white prints along with some Michael Miller and Kona solids to make the wonky stars pop but also add a subtle background texture. For the back, I pieced some remnants from the top and some cuts whose scale were too large to incorporate into the quilt top design.

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This pattern works best with small and medium scale prints and I recommend a high contrast between the fabrics you use for background and the stars. This pattern works great for incorporating a wide variety of fabrics and is ideal for scrap sewing.

Up close and personal with the quilting

Up close and personal with the quilting

I opted for straight line quilting 1/2 inch apart running vertically along the quilt. This style of quilting not only makes for amazing texture, but adds to the durability of the quilt and reinforces the seam lines. Since this quilt is designed to be a part of holiday traditions for years to come, I wanted to be sure that this quilt was built to last!

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Bound in a Cotton + Steel basic (Dottie in Bandana) and finished with my custom label from Dutch Label Shop. I listed this quilt for sale in my Etsy shop and it was quickly snapped up; I am hoping it is well-loved in its new home!

Linking up with From Bolt to Beauty to celebrate this finish!

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