Tag Archives: intentional design element

Who’s Had an “Intentional Design Element” Recently?

I made a super-cute purse for a teammate from high school recently. (We were in the color guard together… you know, the twirly flag thing with the marching band.) Man my arms were in good shape then. Anyway…. oh yeah. She asked if I could make a purse with owl fabric so I sent her some links to several styles of owls. After she picked one, I just had to wait ’till it arrived and then I could begin.

This purse pattern by Sam Hunter includes a flap with a Velcro closure. I messed up the first one that I made. It’s supposed to be 10″ x 10″. I didn’t measure, just thought the strip size was aesthetically pleasing. It was. But it was too short, so I tried to fix that with another strip.

melissafirstflap

Now, had this purse been for me, I would have just run with it. Tell anybody who asked that it was an “Intentional design element!” Also known as, I figured it out in a creative way but you don’t have to know that! Other intentional design elements I’ve done have been caused by running out of fabric or piecing something wrong (sideways, upside down, wrong placement) and just running with it. When I run out of fabric on most projects I just add in something similar. Since this purse is a custom order for an actual paying customer (and I did have enough fabric) I made another flap. Here’s the completed purse.

melissafront

There are even little owls as the pockets and stiff bottom of the bag. (Stiff bottomed, not because it’s been at boot camp, but to help the bag keep its shape.)melissainside

 

P.S. This bag is only $85 + shipping. Let me know if you’d like to order one.

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Even Tree Skirts are Creative Opportunities

Every project has its own unique story. For example, I just finished this custom ordered tree skirt for my Aunt. I chose some modern fabrics and ran them by her to make sure she didn’t want something more traditional…. and then, as I sometimes do… I stole them. More accurately, I used a LOT of the rusty red fabric in another project. I had it right there in my stash just waiting to be used… but it was waiting to be used for this project. Oops.

Well, that’s where creativity comes in. I had planned to make this tree skirt out of alternating print and red in 8 equal sections. Instead, I cut up the red that remained into four 1/16th wedges. I still wanted the main print to have 4 large sections. So that left room for two more 8ths which I pulled from another beautiful print. Putting them together, I inserted the red where I thought the patterns needed some rest. Guess what? That means it’s not symmetrical. And, I think it’s more modern and beautiful in its imperfection that it would have been if everything went according to plan.

I constructed and quilted this tree skirt and then put binding around the raw edges. Of course, the plan was to use the red print as the binding too… which would bring it all together nicely. Yeah, I don’t have nearly enough red print left to make binding. Another design opportunity. I’m creative; I can figure this out! Time to audition fabrics.

skirtauditions

I saw that the yellow would work nicely… and decided to go bold with the blue circles. Bold is good. It’s scary and could make the whole project wonderful. Once it was sewn on, I decided it was waaaay cooler than the yellow ever could have been. Adds some sass and whimsy.

skirtbinding

 

The backing? Yeah. That was going to be the red, too. (But that other project really needed it, honest! When I can I’ll show you the quilt I’m talking about. No other fabric would have done the job as well.) I often piece backings for my quilts, but I wanted this tree skirt to have the option of being double-sided… which called for a one-fabric back. So I pawed through my stash, hoping to find something large enough that would compliment the front. Turns out that the Asian fabric that I bought over a year ago because it was just so beautiful that I had to have it was just waiting to be used in this particular project. It’s the deep blue print in the photo below.
skirtbackopening

So here she is in all of her glory. It’s been a great ride. I’ve stretched myself and made something I’m proud of. I hope my aunt loves this skirt as much as I do. Now to throw her in the wash and send her off to New England. Safe travels, my friend. I really do love you.skirtfull

 

 

* It’s not too late to get your custom tree skirt order in for this year.