sewing

inspiration + real life

inspiration + real life - noodlehead

Oooo. I felt this post coming for a long time. Hmmm, orginally I was scrolling through my pinterest boards and was thinking, gosh, I really hope other sewists find this board, it’s so cool! And I don’t mean that in a ‘look at my stuff’ kind of way. I typically only share sewing or creative diy projects on my pin board that I think are inspiring. I hardly ever pin my own photos, I’m not sure why, but I love pinning what others make using my patterns as well as other patterns and DIYs from so many talented people.

And then I went and typed that title of the post up there, you know the one, inspiration + real life. It gets me thinking deep about my creative life and all that. I feel like maybe that’s the missing link that I’ve been searching for to try and connect in my mind. I often find myself scrolling through instagram endlessly and thinking, gosh I just feel so inspired but not necessarily motivated to actually throw myself in and do something. It’s kind of a ishy feeling actually. I want to do the things and yet it’s hard to do the things! It’s hard to commit to projects, hard to find the time, and hard to sort through all the amazing inspiration out there.

So I’m sure there’s people out there that see my work and feel the same, inspired, but not sure how it fits into their real life. Well, I can tell you that I started super small. I mean, like nothing. I had a small desk and one shelf. I started with a free, yes free, sewing machine. I knew how to sew, but at the same time didn’t let myself get wrapped up in knowing everything. I just started.

inspiration + real life - noodlehead

this is my honest craft space from January 2010

I followed where my heart lead me. Sure there were times when I was scraping together a tutorial, feeling pressured to complete another project, or just generally feeling like I needed to make all the things, but that’s not really what kept me going. It was the community, this beautiful, sometimes mysterious world of online creatives. Having those relationships and sense of community always drew me back. There were times that weren’t so great in my life, but sewing was never something I stopped craving. Yes, my creativity comes and goes, but it’s always been there, and more importantly, I never stopped.

So what I’m trying to say is just keep going. Do what your heart wants. Creativity is not a contest, that I know for sure, but it’s such a great reminder. I hope you have fun with whatever you create, even if it sucks. I’ve made a lot of things that suck. But I also never questioned if I should stop creating. We were born for this.

inspiration + real life - noodlehead

sewing

Quilting Tips for the Range Backpack + Video

Quilting Tips Range Backpack - Noodlehead

Quilting Tips Range Backpack - NoodleheadI’m excited to share a quick video I made about quilting the back panel of the Range Backpack pattern. Just to hopefully make things super clear, I suggest this option only for when you choose to use quilting cotton for the exterior fabric requirement. Got it? Great! In the pattern I suggest a few options for the exterior fabric choice: waxed canvas, canvas, or quilting cotton. So if you’re going the quilting cotton route there are a few additional steps that you’ll need to take, and quilting the back panel is one of them.Quilting Tips Range Backpack - Noodlehead

If you’ve never quilted before, this is a great time to give it a try! A small project like the back panel of a backpack is a great place to learn while also being manageable to get through your machine. There are a few items that I mention in the video so go grab them at your local quilt shop (and because I can’t link to everyone’s local shop, I’ve linked to a few online sources here as well).

Click here to watch the video!

It’s just about ten minutes long and make hope is that it’ll be easy to understand and help you feel confident when making your own Range Backpack! I’m trying to make an effort to get better at video, so I’m working on it! My hope is that it’ll still be worth viewing even though I’m so not an expert at video and editing.

Your backpack is about to get fancy!

Pattern: Range Backpack, hardware kits available
Fabrics: Cotton + Steel Double Dots Dark Grey, Waxed Canvas for Contrast Bottom (black) from AL Frances Textiles, Lining isĀ Robert Kaufman Canyon Colored Denim in black (6 oz. weight)

Quilting Tips Range Backpack - Noodlehead

sewing

Range Backpack Testers

Range Backpack Testers - Noodlehead

Above: My friend Holly made this version using Leah Duncan’s canvas collection for Cloud9 Fabrics called Lines and Shapes, black canvas is Robert Kaufman Outback canvas. Both available from her shop: bijoulovely.com

Thanks so much for your support of my new pattern, the Range Backpack. It’s always so much fun to finally share something that I’ve been working on for so long. Today, I’m excited to share some of the Range Backpacks that my testers made!

Range Backpack Testers - Noodlehead

I’m super lucky and grateful that I’ve been able to get together with my friends each summer to sew and chat and eat all the snacks. This year it sort of timed out perfectly to ask if anyone was interested in test sewing the backpack. To my surprise everyone agreed to sew one up! I seriously was floored. I’ve found through trial and error that sewing through a pattern with people in person is really such an amazing experience. I always learn something new or notice something I could improve upon. It’s little things that I pick up on in person that really can’t be matched anywhere else.Range Backpack Testers - Noodlehead Range Backpack Testers - Noodlehead

So I got to hang out and cut fabric and interfacing and witness my friends sewing up their very own backpacks. It was really a treat! And they were gracious enough to let me snap a few pics when we were all done. I can’t thank them enough!

A few weeks after my sewing retreat with my friends, I got together with a group of lovely women at my local quilt shop, Olive Juice Quilts, to do an in-person testing of the backpack. I’m very grateful for their time and was so excited to see all the finished backpacks. Some of the ladies were kind enough to send me a few pics to share here.

Range Backpack Testers - Noodlehead

Above: Carol made this lovely backpack with this beautiful floral canvas, she added a pop of lime green with the lining. So pretty!

Range Backpack Testers - Noodlehead

Above: Elaine made this gorgeous tropical backpack using outdoor fabrics! It looks so great!

Range Backpack Testers - Noodlehead

Above: Colleen made this lovely version using this lovely canvas print and coordinating black canvas. The lining she used Anna Maria Horner’s Loominous.

I hope these bring you some additional inspiration! I think after seeing these that there really isn’t a wrong way to go with fabric choices, it really looks great in all fabrics!

Range Backpack Testers - Noodlehead

Above: Sharon whipped up this gorgeous batik backpack. She interfaced the contrast bottom with foam because she chose to use the lighter weight batik fabric. So pretty!

Also, a reminder that I have hardware kits available as well, they’ve been going fast!