Harry Potter Marauder’s Map themed Embroidered Cross Body Bag

Harry Potter Marauder’s Map themed Embroidered Cross Body Bag

As part of a one on one Instagram swap, I made a Marauder’s Map themed Cross Body Bag. Check it out! The front “opens” the map: The back “closes” it And someone walks up and down the sides.   You may recognize this bag. I used the same pattern I used for the Harry Potter Bookshelf bag. Swing by that post for links to the pattern/designer and thoughts on the pattern. I clearly liked it since I made it twice!   The machine embroidery is all custom digitized files. I’m really enjoying this new bigger hoop! If you’d like them, I’ll send them to you (yes, for free). Just email susandowenby@gmail.com with your preferred file format. These are digitized for a 7 x 12 hoop. If you have a smaller size you’ll likely be able to split them without too much trouble.   I really hope that @invisagirl87 likes it as much as I did. I also hope she gets the chance to test out the strength of some of those super reinforced seams I put in there! If you’re interested in swapping with me, make sure to follow along on IG. I’m likely to offer to do another one in late May.   Here’s my little Slytherin modeling...
Harry Potter Library Book Bag and Window Shopper Bag Pattern Review

Harry Potter Library Book Bag and Window Shopper Bag Pattern Review

February 2016’s Bag of the Month Club’s bag is the Window Shopper Bag Pattern from Mrs H. When I first spotted the bag, I wasn’t insanely excited about it. When I downloaded the 34 page pattern, I was overwhelmed and nearly unwilling to even try it. I mean seriously, SO MANY WORDS. After a few days settling in, I remembered the thing I hate more than anything else is when I buy a commercial pattern that attempts to put itself on a single piece of paper to save costs. It leads to tiny little fonts/pictures and tons of missing details. I thought it was possible that maybe the full pattern with all the information takes 34 pages and a zillion words and is actually something I’d prefer. After looking at the bag more, I thought it would make an awesome library bag. Once I thought about that, I knew I had to reuse some of my Harry Potter book spines from the Harry Potter quilt. The Pattern I was a little brave and started with the “text only” version of the instructions + the pattern pieces. It took about two steps for me to realize I wanted the pictures. If for nothing else but to break up all of the words and have a place for my eyes to easily land switching back and forth between working and pattern reading. The pattern is very through. The reason it is so long is that it takes nothing for granted and assumes you need hand holding for each step. As it turns out, I like hand holding! If the step was...
Look into my Sketches: Harry Potter Bookcase Quilt Edition

Look into my Sketches: Harry Potter Bookcase Quilt Edition

This quilt has created more doodles, sketches, plans, and ideas than anything else I’ve done before. So many that it deserved a devoted sketch post instead of getting wrapped in with other projects. The first sketch I’ll show you is the “planning” sketch. I drew this out at the very beginning. As the project went on, I made changes for one reason or another and just kept drawing over the original sketch. Some things stayed, some were added, and some dropped completely. I had pretty good reasons for dropping at lot of the things that were edited out. The only one I regret is Peeve’s bow tie. Maybe next time. ha! Here are the other sketches that weren’t lost to my bad habit of drawing on any paper like objects within my reach. They will show up in random order each time you see view the page. If you would like an idea of how I used the sketches check out my post on my digitizing process. You may notice that the sketches are really really sketchy. It is so useful to me to do this exercise and get and idea of size, shape, and spacing before spending lots of time fine detailing. Here’s a great article on Thumbnailing. It is intended for web design, but really applies to all sorts of design projects. I’m surely going to try the ’25 rule’ on my next project.   Want to see everything Harry Potter? Check out this index of posts. Have something to say? I want to hear it! email me at...
Harry Potter Bookcase Quilt: Table Basting and the Back of the Quilt

Harry Potter Bookcase Quilt: Table Basting and the Back of the Quilt

The Harry Potter Bookcase quilt stalled a bit for two reasons. The first was my schedule. I was all over the place for a lot of weeks and didn’t have the time to focus on it. The second, and biggest reason, was my indecision. I really wanted floating candles and flying keys. Those two items were the first two I planned before I made the first shelf. It didn’t seem to matter how I drew, designed, embroidered, or created the effects I never settled on anything I was happy with. At one point I decided that I was going to do something – anything – to move forward. I put the quilt on the wall with all of the various ideas and cut outs and stared. I stared so long that I eventually pulled out a chair. My roommate came home with me in the dark staring at the wall. Poor guy stood there while I had a full on melt down about why I was unhappy with every idea I had. He didn’t say a word until I was completely verklempt. He looked at me and said – why don’t you just hang actual candles and keys in front of the quilt. Whoa. Why don’t I??? Well. Once I was over my little tizzy, work started happening pretty fast! First, I sandwiched and basted my quilt using a table basting method. There are tons of tutorials out there with a google search “table baste quilt”. My biggest challenge was making it work with my table. I have a large table, but the top is wide so binder clips...
Harry Potter Bookcase Quilt: Week 30

Harry Potter Bookcase Quilt: Week 30

Phew! I do love this Embroidered Hogwarts crest and now that I have it, I’m so thrilled I stuck it out and got it done. It was a beast y’all. Everything that could go wrong did! Check out this list of crazy… 1. It took FOR-EV-ER. There are so many details and sections of this it took a really long time to just create the embroidery objects. For the most part I knew what I was going to do, but there were a few places I hit logic problems and and re-adjust accordingly. I think digitizing time was somewhere around four hours. 2. I needed the crest to be 6 x 6.  Even though I spent two days trying to convince myself I should make it 5 x 5 so I could fit it in a single hooping. I knew I’d never be happy with 5 x5 so I went ahead and set it up for a split. Sadly – I misplaced one of the alignment lines on the first digitizing go which killed the placement for the second half. Sigh. Start over. 3. Because the color of this yellow fabric I had was so perfect, I used it despite it being a cheap-o big box craft store fat quarter. Look what the satin stitch did to it! Sigh. Start over – again. 4. I REVERSED my background colors and put green behind Hufflepuff and Yellow behind Slytherin. Fortunately I realized it before I made it to Ravenclaw, but still! sigh! Start over – again again! At this point I was pretty determined that it could and would be...