The Wonderful Things Blog Tour and lots of Wonderful Things!

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It’s finally here…my day for the Wonderful Things Blog Tour! YEAH! If you have not been following along, I will have the full schedule for you at the end of this blog. And What is this Wonderful Things I am so excited to be a part of? Well, it is a maker’s delight using Bonnie Christine’s, fabric designer extraordinare, collection of fabrics called Wonderful Things! You can find Bonnie on Instagram (@goinghometoroost) and on the web as goinghometoroost.com. Bonnie is a busy mom who wears many hats as a quilter, sewist, and crafter. Oh did I mention, she is as beautiful as the fabrics she designs!

I have been a long time fan girl of Bonnie and her fabric collections, so, when Bonnie asked for volunteers to be part of the Wonderful Things Blog Tour, my hand shot up…actually, I RAN to my computer and volunteered and then held my breath until I found out I was chosen. This was followed by a happy dance all around the house! I had already used some of the Wonderful Things fabric collection, so I knew how amazing these fabrics, produced by Art Gallery Fabrics, were. The entire collection consists of soft feminine colors, flowers and coordinating prints designed just to bring out the very best when all paired together. I knew exactly what I was going to create for the tour when I chose my prints! Two main fabrics and two coordinating:

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Chosen Fabrics – Garden Walk Thistle Border Fabric, Blooming Brook Moon, Words to Live By and Splendid Oath Rain

I knew the border flowered print, Garden Walk Thistle, would be perfect for a Bucket Bag body, the white and blue smaller print,  Blooming Brook in Moon, would be the drawstring top. I had to incorporate the light green, Words To Live By and Splendid Oath Rain, was crying out to be ‘Wonderful” piping and bias trim! The Bucket Bag finished lovelier than I had imagined…always a ‘Wonderful Thing’!

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A Bucket Bag has special meaning to me, because it was my very first bag design when I opened my Etsy shop six years ago. I remember laboring over the design and working on it for months before I posted the first one in my shop. Since then, I have improved it many times over until the interfacings, and the pieces are cut just the right size, but this one is extra special and filled with features, that my shop Bucket Bags do not have…yet! This lovely border print was begging for some decorative hand quilting to frame those Thistle flowers, and I know its a bit difficult to see, but that leather rectangle has my shop monogram embossed on it. I really like the interest the real leather added and I worked diligently to stitch it just right!

Next I used the Words To Live By fabric to create the outside and inside base of the Bucket. I fussy cut just the right sentiment… “Not All Who Wander are Lost”.. for the bottom exterior. Such a great saying for a free spirit like me, don’t you think?

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Bucket Bag Bottom – Words To Live By

The interior of the Bucket Bag is filled with lots of features ready for the quilter, knitter, crocheter or crafter. A quilted pocket with a “handmade with love” snap ribbon, just for those special scissors. A bigger pocket, with more Words to Live By, “To Thine Own Self be True”, will hold a smartphone, EPP’s, tape measure, etc.  And on that bigger pocket a fabric covered matching needle minder…but wait, that’s not all! How about a tabbed split ring just incase you might want to hang something…like a needle book.  Another Wonderful Thing about the Bucket Bag is the way the drawstring top folds over the main body of the bag for perfect accessibility and visibility. Wonderful!

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Bucket Bag Interior Features-1
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Bucket Bag Interior Features-2

What I wasn’t expecting was the fact, that I just couldn’t stop making! Inspired by these lovely prints, I pulled out some patterns and since I already owned other fabrics from the Wonderful Things collection, I just kept going! First up, a pin cushion as delicate and flowery as this collection, naturally, a Rose Pin Cushion Cuff (pattern by Michellepatterns on Etsy) was irresistible. Followed by a Sew Posh Sewing Supply Case (pattern by RobotMomSews also on Etsy) to show off Aquarelle Study Wash fabric and Splendid Oak Rain! The Spending Oak bow and matching bias trim married perfectly on the Sew Posh Case Supply Case, but just one more thing…a matching covered tape measure hand sewn and hand embroidered with a sweet pink heart button to push for retracting! LOVE IT!

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The Whole Collection…almost!

Stop there? I couldn’t! I still had one more Words To Live By piece, cut in a circle, which I could not leave cut and unused. A little sandwich needle book, inspired by one I spied on @sunnysidesupply ‘s IG feed, came to life and was hand quilted all around the saying “You are Capable of Wonderful Things”! I was almost ready to pack my Bucket Bag and start creating, but as a great hand appliqué (r) or English Paper Piecer knows, you need a bit of Thread Gloss to insure a Wonderful thread consistency so I chose a Flower (Rose, of course!) Thread Gloss from RobotMomSews…I know, right!

When I finished (ha!) I realized there were three more days left until my turn on the Wonderful Things Blog Tour. The opposite border of the Garden Walk Thistle border fabric was just staring at me. In addition, a bit of my other chosen fabrics still had potential! Should I stop!? What do you think the over achiever in me, replied? You are lazy if you don’t go on…AHHH!!! Sometimes, these demands are difficult for me to control and the very voice which keeps my head spinning at night. But, what to make? Pillow, mini quilt, doll clothes, another bag…what??? There were possibilities! And with this much fabric still to use, would you have quit?

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I have to confess…I LOVE LOVE LOVE a great border print, like Garden Walk Thistle. I truly do not believe many designers gravitate to this fabric layout,  so they are few and far between. But when I see a beautiful border print, whether, on both borders or just one…I get giddy!!! But I digress…So, my consistent side prevailed and a Wonderful Thing happened…Inspiration! Followed by a decision…thank goodness, because I was at two days out.  Part of the plan included Hexies. Since I used two hexies to finish the drawstring of the Bucket Bag, more hexies were in order, you know, for the sake of consistency! So, I began with scraps and started making Hexies, fussy cutting some and not others, but trying to use every small fabric scraps left. They were so adorable when I finished, I just wanted to look at them, and admire them…but…shook it off!!! Got going!

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So drumroll, please…an Extra Large Zippered Bag, using the Garden Walk Thistle Border print on one side and Hexies on the back…or should it be the other way around? Once I started the creative process it was difficult to choose the front from the back of the zippered bag. But consistency…again!

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I am really into fusible foam interfacing for the exterior of my zippered bags. It makes the exterior “feel” so soft but makes for a strong bag which stands up on its own. For the interior fabrics, I chose the pieces I had left over, and calculated how large the zippered bag could be and worked backwards. I could get a 16″ wide x 13 ” tall zippered back with some creative piecing. On hand was  a lovely blue long pull purse zipper which was 16″ long, but after I added an end tab and installed it just right, it would extend beautifully beyond the back of the bag, making for great accessibility. Here’s a little secret… I purchase most of my zippers from Zipit on Etsy! Best prices, best selection and best service! I’m a customer for life!

So I pieced all the hexies and got them just right, for half of the back of the zippered bag and used the Garden Walk Thistle print on the front. Added a navy blue gusset bottom, to bring the size to snuff, a padded matching zipper pull and voila a great extra large zippered bag! It’s a Wonderful Thing!

Phew… I’m done…really! With just a few pieces of fabrics, and some gorgeous selvages left, I’m out of steam and very happy with ALL the makes! To be fair, I have been following the Wonderful Things Blog Tour from the beginning and found it difficult to measure up (tape measure. LOL) to the creative designers which have participated thus far. They have all truly ‘up the ante’ for this Blog Tour!

Make sure you check out Deanne  (7/27) and Amy‘s (7/31) blogs and instagram feeds as well. But why limit yourself, follow the entire Wonderful Things Blog Tour from beginning to end to have your mind blown by all the creative people from all around the World. If Instagram is your favorite social media, follow along with the hashtags #wonderfulthingsblogtour and #wonderfulthingsfabric. I promise, that once you see what is created from the Wonderful Things fabric collection, you will want to visit every blog, read all about the creator’s inspirations and start your own makes!

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Back of the Extra Large Zippered Bag…see the Hexie flower in the middle?

Until the next Wonderful time,

Maria xoxo

 

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