Archive for June, 2014

Welcome to My Studio

June 28, 2014

 

A grand tour awaits you in the fall issue of Where Women Create, but here’s a little amateur sneak peek from me. Yes, I am so delighted I will be one of the featured studios in my most favorite magazine to come out the same time as our 40th Quilt Festival Anniversary. There’s a lot to look forward to this fall. I’ll keep you posted on some exciting things to happen at Fall Quilt Festival 2014, but today here’s my little tour of my studio.

WELCOME! COME ON IN!

Enter Here from Hallway

Enter Here from Hallway

I love displaying things on my walls that have special meaning to me such as small antique boxes, pieces I made in classes, things from friends, my children, grandchildren, photos taken and works by artists I admire. I feel surrounded by love and inspiration.

On the Right Side

On the Right Side as You Enter

Details of Right Side

Details of Right Side

Collection of Wooden Spools

Collection of Wooden Spools

Antique Shelves & Drawers

Antique Shelves, Jars & Drawers Hold Important Stuff

End of that Wall

End of that Wall

Then there are three windows that create a bay where my sewing machine is facing the windows looking out onto a park. It’s really pretty in the green of spring and summer. My kitties like to join me in my studio and sitting where I need to be is a favorite spot.

Kitties Join Me

Kitties Join Me

Then there’s a little corner before turning to the left and my design wall and then studio closet.

Little Corner Next to Windows

Little Corner Next to Windows

Design Wall Begins

Design Wall Begins

My studio is upstairs in our home and the room was meant to be a bedroom therefore the drapes and carpeting. Before we moved-in 7 1/2 years ago, I had a few things done to make it workable as a studio. The walk-in closet was outfitted with shelves. Two full-spectrum fluorescent ceiling lights were added. A design wall was created out of Celotex covered with Warm and Natural cotton batting on the largest wall.

Closet in Studio

Closet in Studio

Then we turn the corner and after the closet is the wall for my ironing board and wire drawers with more cubbies on the wall for treasures.

Ironing & Treasures Wall

Ironing & Treasures Wall

Printer's Box & Drawers

Printer’s Tray & Drawers

Shelves with Jars & Keys

Shelf with Jars & Keys

More on Walls

More Mementos on Wall

And that takes you around the perimeter of my studio. Where do I sew, cut and design you ask? It’s in the middle that you didn’t see. I said this was just a teaser. Get the professional tour in the fall issue of Where Women Create.  Hope you enjoyed my little tour.

COME BACK NOW, YOU HEAR?

Leaving Studio

Leaving Studio

Button Jars in Hallway

Button Jars in Hallway

BYE.

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Play Date #9 Patchwork Messenger Bag

June 24, 2014

Have you collected more canvas totes than you need? Take one apart, then use it and the handles for the foundation on which to flip, stitch and embellish a useful messenger bag. The tote and/or handles can be made smaller than the original tote by trimming to the size you desire. The patchwork and embellishment can be dressy, casual, funky, pretty, or any style or color you choose.

Embellished Canvas Bag

Embellished Bag using Vintage linen and lace

Materials needed

  • Canvas tote bag like you receive at shows

    Canvas Tote for Foundation

    Canvas Tote

  • Fabrics for patchwork
  • Lining  ¾ yd. for tote bag front and back, handles, pockets

    Materials Needed

    Materials Needed

  • Buttons, trinkets, charms, non-valuable costume jewelry
  • Trims and lace
  • Focal point such as glove, hankie, photo transfer, special fabric, applique

Supplies Needed

  • Large safety-pin for pulling strap through handle fabric tube
  • Sewing machine thread colors to match trims and fabric
  • Tube turner
  • Sewing machine with size 80 needle

Preparation

  1. Take tote bag completely apart. I use a rotary cutter as a seam ripper. Iron on wrong side. Ink may melt on iron if you iron logo from right side. Iron handles with a pressing cloth or with tote bag canvas on top. Nylon handles melt with iron directly on it.
  2. Cut tote bag apart on bottom fold so you have a front and back piece of canvas.
  3. Determine size you want your tote. If size you want is smaller than existing size, cut down. Zig zag two handles together at short ends to make one longer single shoulder strap to be worn across your body.
  4. Round the corners of canvas by cutting in a curve using a dinner plate or something similar for a pattern.

    Tote Preparation

    Tote Preparation

  5. Iron patchwork fabrics flat.
  6. Cut the following from lining fabric and set aside:
  • 2 pieces the size of tote foundation for lining plus 1″-2″ taller.
  • 1 piece 2 ¾” X length +1″ for handle, if it’s 1″ wide. If handle is wider, double width and add 3/4″.
  • 2 pieces each 5 ½” X 8-10″ for pocket and a second smaller pocket
    Cut from Lining Fabric

    Cut from Lining Fabric

     

Instructions

  1. Cut and glue stick a piece of light weight batting to cover the logo on the front side of canvas bag. Stitch. Start with focal piece in central area on the batting side of bag.
    Focal Point

    Focal Point

    Stitching with a ¼” seam, add-on other fabrics by stitching out, up, and below the original center design. Use the stitch and flip method of piecing. Keep pieces large. This is the same method used for Crazy Quilting and Log Cabin piecing.

    Crazy Quilt

    Crazy Quilt Piecing

  2. When front of canvas is covered, press. Stitch 1/8″ around outside edge. Trim even with canvas.
  3. Cover seams with trim, fringe, ribbon. Add appliqués, and buttons.

Constructing Tote

  1. Sew pocket pieces right sides together using ¼” seam allowance. Leave an opening for turning. Turn right side out. Press and turn the raw edge in. Pin pocket to right side of one of the lining pieces 2 ½” from top edge. Stitch on 3 sides close to edge.
    Stitch Pocket to Lining

    Stitch Pocket to Lining

    Add a second pocket to other side of lining, if you prefer. Stitch a seam in the middle of the pocket to make two smaller pockets for cell phone and keys.

  2. Place lining pieces right sides together. Place the finished bag front face down on top of back of bag right sides together. Layer the four pieces in the following order and pin together. Patchwork bag right side up, back of bag face down on right side of bag, two lining pieces right sides together on top of bag. The lining will extend at top of bag 1″-2″.

    Four Layers Stitched Together

    Four Layers Stitched Together

  3. Stitch ¼” from the edges through all layers starting at top edge of lining ending at other side top of lining. Leave the bag opening unstitched. Clip the curves to the stitch line.
  4. Turn the backing piece over the bag so the backing is on the outside. Use a long, blunt tipped tool to push out the bottom edges for a smooth, rounded finish.
  5. Turn the lining down over the top edge of the bag and turn under ½” at the raw edge. Pin in place. Set aside.

    Turn Lining to Front

    Turn Lining to Front

  6. Fold handle fabric strip in half lengthwise with right sides together. Stitch long raw edge with a ¼” seam. Stitch across bottom of one short end. Push from this end to turn right side out. Cut off end near stitching. Press with seam in center back.
  7. With safety-pin attached to one end of strap, work strap through fabric tube.
    Strap through Fabric Tube

    Strap through Fabric Tube

    Leave 1/2″ of fabric without strap on both ends. This will be tucked under front cuff. Make sure strap is lying flat and topstitch down center of handle. Stitch ¼” from each side of center seam. Press.

  8. Place raw edge of strap under the folded lining at each seam line and fold up over lining on outside. Pin.
  9. Edge stitch along the fold through all layers. A free-arm sewing machine makes easy work of this. Add trim to the edge if desired. Stitch close to the top edge, too.

    Add Strap and Top Stitch

    Add Strap and Top Stitch

  10. Add buttons on top of the straps where they connect to the bag, if you desire.
  11. Add snap, loop, button or Velcro for closing the bag.

    Closure Ideas

    Closure Ideas

Fill your bag with lots of goodies and out the door you go to buy more fabric. Toodle-lu.

Applique Messenger Bag

Applique Messenger Bag

Photo Transfer Center

Photo Transfer Center

Embellished Patchwork

Embellished Patchwork

Look for more detailed photos of totes in my etsy shop at JudyMurrahDesigns.etsy.com.

Vacationing Towards Our 50th Anniversary

June 16, 2014

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.     Thoreau

Three years ago, Tommy and I decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary week on a trip and count-down to our 50th. The criteria for each of these trips have been a place we haven’t visited, cool temperature, quiet, special accommodations, a few interesting things to see and near water, if possible.

Celebrating 48 years

Celebrating our 48th  year

This year we chose to go to The Manor on Golden Pond, an elegant bed and breakfast country inn, located in the Lakes Region in Holderness, New Hampshire.

Manor on Golden Pond

Manor on Golden Pond

Everything was accurate as they described the Manor’s fourteen-acre estate. However, I took them literally when they said Manor “on Golden Pond.” If I’d read more closely it said, with “exquisite views of Golden Pond.” Indeed from the windows and the deck off our room, the Mayfair, had an exquisite view.  However, it wasn’t on Golden Pond, but across the street. Now wouldn’t you believe you were “on the Pond” according to this picture of our room on their website?

Mayfair Room on Manor Wing

Mayfair Room on Manor Wing

We did enjoy quiet time reading on our deck in the sun and also on drizzly days. I happen to be a pluviophile, (n) a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days, so the rain didn’t bother me. The weather was cool enough to have a fire in our wood-burning fire-place and snuggle-up  in our comfy bed to watch a movie on one of our four nights there.

View from Our Deck

View from Our Deck

The first day we arrived, we had dinner in the Van Horn room, an intimate setting with elegant décor, reminiscent of a fine English table with white linens, fresh flowers, and candlelight.  This is a Four Diamond (an accolade given to few New Hampshire inns) restaurant, which recognizes the exceptional cuisine prepared on the premises, as well as the sophistication, level of service, and attention to detail. We also relaxed here each morning over a warm breakfast of omelets, eggs Benedict, pancakes, or French toast, and numerous egg preparations. We anticipated breakfast each morning.

Van Horn Dining Room

Van Horn Dining Rooms

After a yummy breakfast on a sunny, cool day we headed to Moultonborough, New Hampshire to Lucknow, Castle in the Clouds, overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. The 1914 Arts and Crafts mansion includes 5,500 acres of trails and waterfalls on the land to the tops of seven mountains down to the shore of the lake. After extensively touring the home and interacting with the staff guides, we enjoyed more of the sumptuous views and a meal on the carriage house terrace.

Castle in the Clouds

Castle in the Clouds

Lake Winnipesaukee and Us

Lake Winnipesaukee and Us at Lucknow

After the tour of the home we headed back down the mountains with a few stops on the way to look out over the lakes and take a few photos. Then we drove through many of the small towns and villages such as Meredith, Wolfeboro, Ashland, and Weirs Beach including a covered bridge. We headed back to the Manor for afternoon tea which was served every afternoon at 4:00. Nothing could make me happier.

Tea Time

Tea Time every day at The Manor

Cup of Tea

Cup of Tea in the Library

The next day, after another huge breakfast, we relaxed a while on the Terrace at the Manor. In the afternoon, with a picnic lunch in hand from the Manor kitchen, we headed for a 90-minute boat tour of the pristine Squam Lake. We viewed Purgatory Rock, the boat dock, and area where “On Golden Pond” was filmed. Our guide was humorous in pointing out all these locations plus the nesting places of loons and eagles. The flat-boat was equipped with binoculars as it took more than the naked eye to see some of the wildlife. We enjoyed the scenery and beauty of the lake and mountains.

Squam Lake

Squam Lake

We shopped after our boat tour in several fun and funky NH’s “no-sales tax” stores like the Red Barn, Veggie Art Girl,  and The Common Man. We made it back to the Manor before it turned really rainy and chilly.

Our last day, even after a long, hard rain all night, we were determined to actually get to the public beach and water. There are beaches all around, but they are private. We ate our substantial breakfast, did a little sight-seeing and then back to our room to put on our hiking shoes to walk to the shores of Squam Lake through the Chamberlain Memorial Forest. Our super hostess, Carol, assured us that it was a beautiful conservation area and would be a wonderful 20 minute walk through the forest and over a wetlands boardwalk. She said we would get to a small enchanting sandy beach from which we could enjoy a swim or bask in the sun. Well, there was no sun, and certainly too cold to swim, but we were determined. So we headed-out on what seemed like a very well-marked trail and nice and wide and dry. However, once we got well into the forest we were accompanied by small flying things and mosquitos and questionable trails and mud and darkness.

Tommy in Forest

Tommy in Forest

I clocked 9,000 steps on my fitbit and 14 flights of stairs by the time we got there and got back out of the forest. Yes, we did get there and found our way back. The major delight was that we accomplished it not unlike the sense of accomplishment we felt when we walked a marathon in 2002.

We Made It!

We Made It!

We stayed on the beach at the water for only 10 minutes and then headed back as fast as we could. After dinner and a long, hot bath, followed by a fire in our fireplace, bed was quite welcome. We took it easy the next morning packing and heading to the Manchester airport for a long day of traveling. When we landed at midnight we couldn’t find our car in the airport parking lot for about 40 minutes, but finally made it home to our own manor and our kitties, Snow and Tiger.

Snow and Tiger Waiting

Snow and Tiger Waiting

East or West Home is Best

East or West Home is Best

The summer still stretches before us. Tomorrow I’ll be in the skies again heading towards Chicago for Summer Quilt Festival in Rosemont. Will I see any of you there? When I land back in Houston next Sunday I’ll go straight to our granddaughter, Sydney Huebner’s 9-year old birthday party at Jumping World. The day after that, Madison (17) and Tyler Murrah (14) will be here for a week for Camp Grammy and Granddaddy.

I will spend the rest of today in my studio preparing for an Open Studios demo on making embellished messenger bags from canvas totes we have received at shows for many, many years. Next time you hear from me on this blog it will be a tutorial on how to make the bags. So until then have a happy summer.

Messenger Bag in Progress

Messenger Bag in Progress

 

 

 

 

 

 


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