Swoon Pearl Clutch

Did ya miss me!?

I haven’t had a whole lot of free time lately…  and the time I did have I was busy with secret projects.  But this week I mailed 4 packages chock full of handmade goodness.  I tried a bunch of new things too!  I’m not so good at taking pictures while I’m trying to figure stuff out, but I think I’ll make it work… just gotta wait until things are delivered so I don’t spoil the surprises!

Today I was determined to make a pattern I picked up a week ago at the quilt shop: the Pearl pattern by Swoon.  It’s pretty rare that I can sit down and get something done, start to finish, so that was my goal.  AND, only use what I had on hand!  I bought it before I knew much about it, so when I got home I opened it up and started reading through the directions.  I just did NOT get it.  So I did some googling and hashtag searching.  Turns out, this clutch has 2 main parts: the zipper compartment and the card slots.  It’s put together in an interesting way: you actually make 2 separate pieces and stick them together!  It looks so complicated but it’s really fairly simple.


First, I cut out all the parts.  Here’s my pile-o-interfacing and fabric and pattern pieces.  I used a couple scraps of Kokka canvas I’d been hoarding: pink scooters and blue cameras.  The scooter print was fun to use for this– the scooters, the blue/purple polka dots and green stripes are all part of the same piece of fabric.  It made the project look scrappy even when it wasn’t.  For the inside I used a grey floral that just seems to go with everything.

I will say since I used such a thick exterior fabric the interfacing seemed like overkill.  I could probably have skipped a few layers.  Actually the pattern called for 2 different interfacings but then only used one.  Next time I’ll use the lighter-weight interfacing.


The card pockets ended up really nice!  You make 1 wide card pocket and then cut it in half!  Worked great!

There are a lot of instructions and clear diagrams.  I had a hard time picturing what was happening and why but I followed the instructions to a “T” and it worked out.

Here’s what I ended up with:


So, as for the 2-parts thing… The top/left half of the card slots is a separate piece from the zipper pouch and the lower/right card slots in the picture below:


I don’t think I could have lined up the tops and bottoms of the cameras like that if I had tried!


The pieces aren’t meant to be used separately, I think they’re like that for constructibility but also for lots of extra pockets and stiffness.  I only explain because It’s just something I didn’t really understand until I saw a bunch of pictures.


In this picture you can see where the bifold portion fits into the sleeve on the main half.  There’s even another magnetic snap in there to keep things together.

Anyway, turned out super cute and I’ve already transferred all my wallet stuff into my new wallet!  Love that it’ll fit a phone in there too!


Finished: Row by Row 2015


I only posted about one of the blocks I made…  but I’ve been busy!

Finished quilt! I hung it on the rail of my deck, so the top 2 rows aren’t visible. It finished up at 54″ x 54″ square


I finished up 7 (and  a half) other blocks, sewed them together and then quilted, bound and labeled a quilt!  I only  took a few pictures along the way (bad blogger!).  I heard there was a prize if you’re the first to bring a finished quilt back to a participating store… so I didn’t mention it in the last post, but that was my goal.  All week I’ve been watching the Row by Row facebook page and seeing people claim the prizes at the stores I visited, so I knew I had to move quickly.  I wanted to wrap this up this weekend, and based on stores schedules (ahem, not open on sundays), I wanted to finish by Saturday morning.  It really wasn’t much of  a stretch until it came to hand-sewing the binding down.  I’m not even going to mention what time I went to bed last night!

Anyway, this morning I brought the quilt to a local store (Quilted Raven, downtown Anchorage!) and claimed their prize!  They were so sweet and they took my picture for their facebook page (and the Row by Row page).  It was definitely a tiny mental challenge to bring in a finished quilt for people to look at (presumably people who were more accomplished and experienced quilters!).  I don’t think I’ve ever put myself “out there” like that before, since usually the people looking at the quilt are my close friends/loved ones/recipients.  I say “tiny” because I tried not to think about it too much and let it make me nervous– but I recognized the challenge and it felt good to breeze past it.


So now for the technical deets:

I quilted this quilt with a loose wave from side to side, using my walking foot and a blue variegated thread.  The backing and binding were from my stash (woo!  feels good to use what I’ve got!).  I wasn’t sure how much backing fabric I had and it ended up being close to the perfect amount, so that was a happy accident.  The print is from Tula Pink’s Saltwater line, which is one of my favorite designers and fabric lines (stay tuned– I’m working on a Saltwater quilt too!).  The binding is a grassy green, which worked out nicely.  I love a contrasting binding and this was just right!

I made the label by cutting a 6″ square and folding it in half diagonally.  It was stitched down under the binding and then ladder-stitched down at the top (when I did the binding).  I just used a sharpie.  I’ve never labeled a quilt before (at least not by myself!) so I took the easy way.  It’s funny I used that light-colored batik only to realize it looks like something I left in the bottom of my swim bag!  Hopefully I always remember it’s the fabric and not stained and mildewed, haha.

Here are the stores I visited:

The left side: Quilt Zone, Anchorage and a silhouette of a mermaid I traced from a wall hanging in my house!

The right side: Seams Like Home, Anchorage and bits and pieces of Bearly Threaded, Cooper Landing

The center column, top to bottom:

  • Robin Place Fabrics, Soldotna
  • Swift Stitches, Talkeetna
  • Sew ‘n Bee Cozy, Seward
  • Sylvia’s Quilt Depot, Wasilla
  • Quilted Raven, Anchorage
  • Quilt Cache, Eagle River

I sure love shop hops!  I’m looking forward to gathering more blocks (and making duplicates of the ones I’ve collected!) for wall hangings and table runners.

And I’d like to say an extra big thank you to the Quilted Raven!

Shew!  Now on to the other projects (and housework) I’ve put off to get this one done!

Easy Finish!

Yesterday I spent some time going through some bins of fabric in order to consolidate, organize and get rid of fabrics I’m just not feelin’.

I had a big rubbermaid tote full of all kinds of things.  Rug padding, home dec fabrics, sparkly mermaid fabrics, everything.  At the bottom I found this bag I started YEARS ago.  It’s made from the Amy Butler Blossom Bag pattern and also Amy Butler fabric because I cannot resist it.

So tonight I ironed it back into a normal shape (whoops) and assessed what needed to be done.  Turns out it only needed the inside pockets sewn together!  I was pumped!  But as soon as I got going I remembered why it wasn’t done before.  It’s just sooo many layers of thick fabric it hardly even fits under the presser foot.  😦  And I think I got frustrated with it and then thought “I’d never even have the guts to carry such a brightly-colored shoulder bag!” and put it to the side.  I’m a few years older now and I’m definitely going to use this (even for just a few times, haha!).

I switched to my darning foot (has the most clearance), did the best I could, sacrificed a few needles…  and it’s done!


Here’s the inside.  The pockets should be spaced differently…  but it was so hard to keep it together and I’ve gone through enough needles that it’s gonna have to do.  One of the pockets is just open and one has a zipper.  Then they divide up the main body… but I didn’t tack down the bottoms, so they just kind of flap around.  It’s done enough to use and that’s 100% better than being unfinished at the bottom of a rubbermaid bin!  No one sees the inside anyway. 😉


I love the detail at the straps!