When in doubt, accessorize! Accessories for the whimsical traveller.

Travel accessories for the crazed sewist.
Travel accessories for the crazed sewist.

There is so much prep time for a big trip.  I’ve been plotting and planning, piling and packing.  And I think everything is ready.  So I decided I needed some new travel accessories.

Leather bag tag, Anita Goodesign embroidery design.
Leather bag tag, Anita Goodesign embroidery design.

Did you know that you can embroider on leather?  Well you can.  I just happened to have this cute leather bag tag sitting about.  Nothing within my reach is safe from the Destiny.  I embroidered my initial on the flap.  At first, I couldn’t decide whether to embroider the initial for my first name or my last.  I hope I chose wisely.

Camera case in batik alligator print.  Custom made to fit my new camera.  Soft and stable for padding, long zipper, detachable wrist strap.
Camera case in batik alligator print. Custom made to fit my new camera. Soft and stable for padding, long zipper, detachable wrist strap.

I’ve been practicing with my new camera for the trip.  So of course the camera needed a cute little case.  Matches the lining of my backpack.  Boom.

Necessary Clutch Wallet pattern by Emmaline bags.  That beautiful Michael Miller fabric with a batik lining.
Necessary Clutch Wallet pattern by Emmaline bags. That beautiful Robert Kaufman fabric with a batik lining.

My new wallet is so classy.  I wanted to make sure it would coordinate with my mix-and-match outfits.  Now I can carry it as a clutch no matter what I wear.  Yep, same fabric as the backpack.  No worries, I won’t hold them up next to each other.

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"I never sleep on planes" eye mask.  Anita Goodesign embroidery.  Gray poly satin fabric, black lace elastic.
“I never sleep on planes” eye mask. Anita Goodesign embroidery. Gray poly satin fabric, black lace elastic.

If you’ve learned anything whatsoever about me, you know that this is my favorite travel accessory by far.  My special sleep mask.  I plan on wearing it on those redeye flights.  Although no one will know if I have red eyes.  Maybe I’ll even get bonus points for creeping out some people on the flights.  I might even wear it backwards when I get up to use the restroom.

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I swear this is the last travel bag I’m making. Before I leave next Sunday.

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This time I mean it.  I have completed my travel bag journey.  This is the backpack I am using on my grand European tour.

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It is a super-sized version of the Dawn to Dusk backpack pattern by Chris W. Designs.  I left off the decorative straps on the pockets, just too fussy for my taste.  I wanted to let this glorious fabric shine.  It is a cotton voile by Robert Kaufman fabrics.

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This is the water bottle pocket.  Himself pointed out that it would actually hold two water bottles.  Yeah, because you know I’ll carry his water for him.  Not!  Since we are traveling to Britain and Ireland, I have decided to adopt the old custom and refer to the Mr. as Himself.  I shall be Herself.  Thanks, Carolann.

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I redrafted all the pattern pieces except for the front pocket and the straps.  We’ll be traveling for more than a day on the first leg of our journey, so I must have enough room for a book and some fresh undergarments.

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I love this lining fabric, it reminds me of alligator.

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I had made one of these modified backpacks earlier this year.  The colors just were not grabbing me for my travel wardrobe.  I am much happier with this print.

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I am taking the advice of one of my friends, packing a wardrobe comprised of black and white with royal blue as my accent color.  Everything I am bringing plays well together.  This is a tough challenge for me since I am such a color girl.  I want to bring red, and pink, and all the colors of the rainbow.  But only blue is going in that bag with the black and white.

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I embroidered this awesome tree of life design on the front pocket.  The design is from Urban Threads, one of my fave embroidery websites.

With departure less than a week away, I can barely contain my excitement.  Will you miss me?  I’ll be gone almost 5 weeks.   I’m going to do some type of travelogue if you want to come along vicariously.  There will be lots of pubs involved.  Lots.  Probably some blurry photos.  And some castles.

Hawaiian quilt blocks continue to spring forth!

DSCN5957 Pineapples are ripe and ready for picking!  I loved the first pineapple block so much, I had to make another.  Of course I used a different fabric and outline color.  I am determined that each and every block on this quilt-to-be will be unique. DSCN5959 I think my blue block has crab claws. DSCN5955 I love all the tentacles on this design.  I can’t even begin to guess what Hawaiian theme this block represents, we’ll just go with “artistic license” on the part of Anita Goodesign.  I love this fabric, but it doesn’t grab me in this block.  This one will most likely sit out the quilt and become a pillow. I’ve made one of every design on the Anita Goodesign Hawaiian Quilt embroidery disc.  I’ve got some new fabrics for round two…

Do you think babies like hedgehogs? Or do they prefer bunnies?

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Does this hedgehog look like he’s got seeds?  I suppose tiny little babies won’t question whether the this critter has some odd dermatological issues.

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This little bunny with a basket of flowers is so soft.  Does it look like she is pooping out a tag?  I hope that’s just me.

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I made these using some new stretch velour from my local dealer.  I used the Forest Friends disc from Anita Goodesign for the embroidery.  I stitched my vanity labels into the bottom seams as an afterthought.

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These are for a friend in Denmark who just had twins.  I’ll stuff them in my suitcase for our upcoming trip.  The toys, not the babies.

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But wait! There’s more! Hawaiian quilt block explosion!

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I hope you’re not tired of looking at colorful Hawaiian quilt blocks!  Anita Goodesign and I have been busy in the studio.  The colors are popping!

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For some reason, parts of this turquoise block remind me of whale tails.  The ones in the ocean.  This blue batik actually has a fish design in it, disguised by the appliqué process.

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This color is difficult to photograph, just can’t seem to capture the beautiful periwinkle coloring.  I love the way the sawtooth leaves come together at the seams and look like the teeth on a man-eating plant!

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This orangish-red was screaming out to become what looks like anthuriums in this block.  Or maybe it’s clubs and hearts from a deck of cards?

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Both of the green blocks I’ve made so far just blow me away.  The batiks are more beautiful as appliqués than they are as yardage.  I didn’t think that was possible!

What’s your favorite block so far?  Any opinions?  Here, I’ll let you review the others…

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Coming up next, orange.  And purple.  Cathy loves purple.

Pineapples and hibiscus join the Hawaiian quilt party!

The pineapple block is ready for it’s debut! DSCN5748 Doesn’t it look juicy?  And look at the little smiles at the bottom of each fruit!  Also making an entrance today… DSCN5747 The lovely pink hibiscus!  I also managed to stitch together the blocks for the red and blue designs, whatever the heck they are. DSCN5746 DSCN5749 I was tempted to just sit around on my laurels, basking in the glow of my ribbon from the quilt show.  With it comes great fame and glory, you know.  Talk show offers, world summits, ringing the closing bell at the stock exchange.  All that good stuff.  But no, I just got right back to work on my projects. DSCN5745 I have hired a security detail, however, and put my Hawaiian quilt blocks under the watchful eye of this Chinese soldier.  Not that my success is going to my head or anything…

This is the quilt version of lipstick

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My mom taught me a couple of things that have stuck with me over the years.  One is never leave the house without lipstick.  Another is that every quilt should have a label.  So it follows that no quilt should leave the house without a label.

I decided to embroider the label for my quilt.  I entered all the words on my sweet Destiny, but it looked so boring.  Plain and boring, two things I aspire to NOT be.

I think I solved that problem quite well by adding this design by Urban Threads.  Really jazzed up the label, don’t you think?

Be gentle, it’s my first: Mark Twain and all his little friends are ready to go public!

I am entering a quilt in the Kauai Quilt show!

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I’ve never entered a quilt in a show.  I’ve only been quilting for a couple of years, so I guess that’s not surprising.

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I call my quilt “How Did I Get Here?”  It’s like a pictorial representation of the places in the US where I have lived and learned.  How cute is little Mark Twain in the corner of Missouri?  I hope I haven’t seen the end of Mark Twain’s head on my quilts.  That one is going to take a lot of thought.

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I’m pretty sure that embroidering the state of Minnesota is the only opportunity I will have to make a gopher.  Unliess I decide to do a Caddyshack quilt some day.  What the heck would that look like?

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Hawaii is actually the first one I did of the states.  When I started this one, I didn’t have a plan for a quilt, and certainly not a thought of making a quilt for a show.  Everything just snowballed from here.  Or erupted from here.

The designs are all from the 50 States collection by Anita Goodesign.  I love using their designs; so detailed and perfect.  Each state took me a full day to embroider.  And I have half of a Missouri sitting around somewhere.

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These small state outlines are from Urban Threads, another awesome source for machine embroidery designs.

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I listed all the most important places in my life using the lettering in my Destiny.  It’s hard to tell in this photo, the thread is a variegated blue/white.

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I like my little appliqué cornerstones.  There are two Hawaii’s on the bottom.

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The gorgeous stars and stripes are from another Anita Goodesign set called Free Motion Frenzy.  Gotta love anything with the name Frenzy.

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I just had to use this red and white Hawaiian print on the back.  And look at that adorable blue and white check I found for the binding!

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I have to finish sewing the hanger thingie on the back, and I want to make a quilt label for it.  No pressure, it’s due tomorrow at 10am.

What do you think of my first show quilt?  I don’t have any expectations.  I am just thrilled to have put together something that means so much to me.  And I think it’s cute.

Lonely no more, the Hawaiian quilt block gets some new friends!

I was busy this weekend.

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Destiny was embroidering like a maniac!  The sections still need to be sewn together, but I managed to stitch out all four parts for each of the red and blue quilt blocks.  The vibrant colors are making me so happy!

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I continue to be amazed at the stitch quality of my Destiny.  It is so consistent and lovely.

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The designs in this Hawaiian Quilt pack by Anita Goodesign are amazing.  That company provides such consistent high-quality projects!  I’m going to need a big pile of blocks for a king-size quilt.

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Notice my solo pineapple square?  I ran out of embroidery thread  after this one.  Oops.  Well, that and I screwed up another two of them.  So we’ll call this one a work-in-progress.

I was working on organizational items in my studio between thread changes on my machine.  This week I will be moving my sewing studio upstairs to a much bigger space.  Unfortunately, this will involve a bunch of dudes with big muscles.  So that’s a wild card.  I’ll be spending my days prepping, unloading bookcases, carrying supplies, and generally wearing myself out without a lot of creativity to show for it.

My small space always looks like a bomb has exploded in it, so I’m looking forward to my bigger spot.  My issue is sure to be the one facing all of us with large fabric collections…storage.  I’ll keep you posted.