Tag Archives: stores

Getting back in the groove with a Social Tote

Earlier this year in June I was lucky to get a spot in a class to make the Social Tote, lead by Lorena Uriate and hosted at Material Obsession. I already owned the pattern by Carolyn Friedlander & Anna Graham (Noodlehead) but having read over it I wasn’t up to tackling it by myself. There are lots of additional photos on Carolyn Friedlander’s site to help explain the process if you’re not so lucky to have someone to show you through it.

Social Tote - a portable sewing caddy

The class was scheduled for a couple weeks after the Modern Quilt Show Australia held in May. I knew I’d be burnt out after the show and could use a kickstart to get back in to sewing & quilting so it was perfect timing.

Social Tote - a portable sewing caddy
Empty Social Tote

The inside configuration of the social tote, with and without all the fun stuff.

The social tote isn’t huge but is just the right size for carrying around your needles, threads, scissors and other small bits and pieces for a smaller project like EPP, or even just the little parts of a larger project. It sits on the arm of my lounge and acts as a thread catcher while I work and lets me easily move around. There are 2 smaller compartments and one larger compartment, perfect for a small kitten to climb into and then play with the built-in toys (clover clips & handles).

Social Tote - The perfect kitty basket with built in toys
Kitten Approved!

The pattern includes instructions for a pin cushion that fits perfectly into one of the smaller compartments. I like that it also helps hold the shape of the tote. One of the tips Lorena shared was that small scraps of batting are great for filling the pincushion and helping it hold its shape, I used a combination of batting scraps and polyfill for mine.

Social Tote Pincusion
Social Tote Pincusion

Both sides of the pin cushion – my favourite print (the paint chips) and a perfectly sized wedge circle!

There are two little side pockets between the handles which are great for adding small feature fabrics. For my Social Tote I used various fabrics from the Paint line by Carrie Bloomston. The outside is one of my most favourite prints, I love the “Not Pink” colour combined with newsprint. The inner bottom uses the paint brushes print and I picked a few complementary colours & prints for other parts. I saved the paint chips for my pockets and one side of the pin cushion and the multi-colour woven print was a perfect binding to tie it all together.

Social Tote using Paint Fabrics by Carrie Bloomston of SUCH Designs

If I were to make another I would probably try to make it a little deeper and I do wonder if it would be possible to add some kind of closure or lid for it so that I could put it in with other supplies in a bag for sewing events outside home. I’m really happy I went through the process of making this tote and am especially grateful for Lorena’s expert guidance, it was a great day out and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more workshops up at Material Obsession in future.

Sunday Stash – GJs Discount Fabrics

For Sunday Stash this week we have part two of my fabric buying adventures in Melbourne from a few weeks ago.

I’ve seen GJ’s Discount Fabrics mentioned by a few Aussie bloggers, in particular on Red Pepper Quilts and You Sew Girl as their local quilt store, click through to their posts to see some beautiful photos of the store and their fabulous fabric range.

The store is an easy tram trip from the CBD out north to East Brunswick, it should take about 20 minutes, unless your tram gets stuck behind another tram that breaks down, in which case it’s about 15 minutes on a tram and 20 minutes to walk the remaining 5 blocks… ask me how I know!

I must have been seeing spots because at first I picked up these dotty fabrics, the two on the left were pre-cut fat quarters, the third from left is a bright fluro dot on a linen background that unfortunately doesn’t photograph well but trust me it’s really bright. On the right, I believe the white on teal is a birch organic cotton.

Polka dot fabric in blues and oranges

Spots and dots in blues and oranges.

Not only do they have a great range of quilting cottons, including a wall of Kona cottons and a tonne of basics like spots and stripes, there’s a whole other floor of dance & costume fabrics. Lycra and sequins and glitter.. oh my! I was very disciplined however and went back downstairs without anything shiny.

Right by the cutting counter I spied some sneaky raccoons looking out at me, I’ve had my eye on those raccoons for some time so grabbed half a meter each of that and a complementary Humming Bird print. These are destined for a purse/wallet/bag type thing (when I finally decide which one).

Tula Pink Acacia Fabrics - Racoon & Humming Bird

From Tula Pink’s Acacia range – Humming Bird in Dusk, Raccoon in Blueberry.

The sooner I get a few more WIPs out of the way, the sooner I get the play with these gorgeous additions to my stash. Linking up to Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles so I can go see what everyone else is playing with.

Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles

Sunday Stash – Amitie Textiles

Happy New Year everyone!

Considering the rapid intake of fabric over the holidays, all technically purchased or received in 2013,  you’d think I was partaking in the Fabriholics Anonymous fabric fast of 2014 and doing some last minute stashing. I’m not, at least, not intentionally, though there is always the vague intent to use what I have and only buy what I need for a particular project.

My latest additions have come to me in different forms:

  • a particular line & coordinates I purchased for myself “for Christmas” that I’ve been holding out on for months
  • fabric received as a Christmas gift
  • fabric purchased while visiting specific stores while on holiday (different state, doesn’t count right?)
  • and a few on-a-whim scrap packs purchased via an Instagram sale from the lovely Ms Poppleton (she has great taste, these scraps are so yummy!).

Today I’m going to share some of my holiday purchases from an amazing store called Amitie Textiles. We popped down to Melbourne for a few days to ring in the New Year and as a bit of a significant birthday present, so of course I found a few fabric stores highly recommended by fellow bloggers to visit, and Amitie was at the top of my list.

It’s a fairly quick and easy train ride from the city and a short walk from the station, so totally worth the trip. They have a gorgeous store stocking so many beautiful fabrics, patterns and notions but by far my favourite was the range of Liberty prints in store. I could have stayed there just running my hands over the fabric for hours. It was a tough choice, but I couldn’t go past some of the new season prints…

Liberty Prints from Amitie Textiles

Liberty Art Fabrics Tana Lawn, L-R: Juno’s Garden C, Eve C, Willow D

Liberty Fabrics from Amitie Textiles

Liberty Art Fabrics Tana Lawn, L-R: Older print not sure**, Isabel Susan A, Heidi Maria A

**I know that the print on the left above is not from the new collection, and I haven’t had any luck finding it yet, if you know what it is I’d love to know!

I picked up the pattern for the Gypsy Wife quilt by Jen Kingwell after seeing the real live quilt in store, so had to grab a couple handfuls of fat sixteenths to start me along on my scrappy way.

Amitie Textiles - Fat Sixteenths

Top Row: 4 Liberty print fat sixteenths | Bottom Row: 10 randomly picked fat sixteenths

I can’t wait to show you some of my other recent stash additions, but it’s all a little too much for one post so I’ll be linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash over the next few weeks.

Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles