You can always use another purse

Yes you can. You know you have this weakness for a cute purse. They are fabulous accessories and you have to have different styles and colors to go with your wardrobe. What? Did I hear you say that your wardrobe is bland and one purse or pocketbook or bag goes with everything? Well that’s a topic for a different blogger. I am here to show you how you can spiff up your presentation with a lovely variety of purses.

I have a new pattern for a Pocket Clutch that is soooo cute I am in love with it. DSC00593It is based on my Fat Bottom bag, not so fat bottomed, and has a zippered pocket on the outside. Same zip across the top. Added a lovely detachable wrist strap. And it’s easy to make. Here’s another one where I did some quick machine fancy stitching on the solid brown to add some pizzazz.

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Here is another black beauty (to go with everything in the winter)!DSC00523

Very cute, right??

You can get a pattern for this adorable clutch on Craftsy.Craftsy.com

That’s right. For a mere pittance you can download the pattern and make one today (or tomorrow if you’re busy).

Go here to look at the pattern.

And I wish you a very Happy New Year, filled with sewing and happy projects, and purses.

Pop the Clutch

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Also known as the wristlet, here are 4 in fabulous POPular colors, new and fresh fabrics. Fun to make and the tutorial is on Sew4Home here. http://www.sew4home.com/projects/storage-solutions/wristlet

I did a few things different than the pattern: I used fusible fleece on the outside pieces and nothing on the lining instead of all that interfacing, I used a longer zipper to make it easier to insert (12″), and I zigzagged around the last seam to avoid ravels.

The black and red one there was a gift and the blue&white&green one I’ve used just recently. So liberating!! I’ve been carrying a tote bag for stuff all summer and this was just so light and easy. The red one will be wonderful for the fall and the other blue one in that snappy Australian print goes perfectly with jeans.

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Summer heat boredom

Wow it’s been hot this week. Bet you’ve heard that already. My basement is cool, being underground and all, and it is where I do my sewing so I have been there, did that, many times this summer. I haven’t blogged in a long while because of other priorities including non-sewing ones. It’s been hard to get help with my Sweet Laura Angel so I have been the #1 nurse for many, many days. I love being with her but when there are issues, I don’t love being by myself. Plus I can’t just pop her in the car and go off and do errands. So life is rearranged to accommodate.

Anyways,

I was feeling a little bored today, didn’t want to start a big project, and wanted to have something to show for my laziness. I dug into my scraps and made some coasters. Mom says she loves the ‘mugrug’ I made for her last holiday season, still using it in July. So I thought it was time for an update (and what about something for me too??) She loves how it absorbs the drips from her sweating glass of ice water. Perfect for a humid stretch. So here’s the results…DSC00485

The stack of 4, top right, is for mom. They are made from scraps of a quilt that is WIP. Top left is for me from scraps. The big butterfly is the very last scrap I had of that wonderful fabric. Now it is a large, absorbent, beverage and snack mat. The backs of the coasters look like this…DSC00486

More pretty scraps. So they are, officially, reversible.

And here is the mat put to excellent use with my diet coke and short stack. I have to note that the can cooler is over 30 years old and carefully preserved.DSC00484

Girls need their shoes

Right?

One of Laura’s nurses is having a baby soon and when I saw this Simplicity pattern (on sale at Joanns some time ago for a buck each, no lie) I knew it would be fun and cute. Who cares if babies only wear stuff for a split second and then it’s too small. DSC00445

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Soooo cute! and tiny. I told Jen she could tie a bow on them and hang them on her Christmas tree. She says, no. She will have many more baby girls who will wear them. Yes, this is her first baby and she doesn’t know yet. Know what?? Moms can chime in here.

It has been a while since I posted and in the meantime

  • I made more stuff to sell at the upcoming quilt show: large totes, baby bibs (with snaps… my latest notion purchase, snap pliers).
  • Laura was in the hospital with pneumonia so she’s on the slow road to recovery.
  • Now we have daytime nurses to take care of her
  • And I went to the MQX show in Manchester for the first time in a long time. That is the Machine Quilters Expo. 

Yes I took pix to show you. Here is the BACK of a gorgeous quiltDSC00426

and here is the frontDSC00427

It was encrusted with crystals. The centers of those blocks were large jewel-like things. This one was amazing.DSC00433

And here is a closeup.DSC00434

Really amazing quilting. More for another day.

Your basic potholder

I have made some potholders for sale at the quilt show (proceeds to the guild) from some donated fabric samples. Easy peasy. This one is made using the quilt as you go method. I used insulbright batting for heat resistance. That stuff works great! I made myself potholders and oven mitts and used only one layer and no problems. No one ever showed me how to bind a potholder and get that nice little hang-me-up loopy thing so I figured out my own way, nice and neat. Here is your tute!!

Potholder Binding TutorialDSC00402

This potholder is 8.5″ square and the binding should be cut one WOF or about 40″ This will be a single fold binding so use a width of 1.25″. There will be plenty. Use thread that matches because it will be visible.

Sew the binding to the front of the potholder starting at the corner where you want the loop to be.DSC00406

Make your typical mitered corners like you would for your best quilt. When you come to the last side, stop sewing, needle down, and flip over the binding at the start. Fold under 1/4″ and pin the binding to the back.DSC00407

Continue sewing the last side all the way across the corner you just pinned. Trim the tail to be 5″ from the edge of the potholder. This will make the loop. The following picture is from the back of the potholder.DSC00408

This picture is from the front.DSC00409

Now press the binding away from the front. Then turn over the potholder to the back and starting with the tail, turn both long sides into the middle and press. Then press the tail edges together again so the raw edge is hidden in the middle. Continue pressing 1/4″ around the raw edge of the binding all the way around the potholder.DSC00410

Starting at the tail, sew the binding onto the back of the potholder. Once again, sewing this tail creates the neat and even loop. Fold the binding around from the front to the back and tuck under the 1/4″ you pressed. Sew the binding very close to the edge, covering the stitching. If you prefer to hand sew the binding to the back, that’s fine. I like to save my hand sewing for something important, this is just a potholder. DSC00411

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Carefully fold the mitered corners and be sure to catch the binding when you turn the corner. (needle down in the corner, raise presser foot, turn 90 degrees, lower presser foot)  Stop half way down the last side, needle down. Tuck the end of the tail under the unsewn binding to make the loop, pin it.DSC00414

Finish sewing the side all the way across the end of the tail under the binding and stop before crossing the corner. Then back stitch or lock stitch at that point.DSC00415

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If you want you can hand stitch the loop flat. I don’t. If the loop is used to hang up the potholder, it won’t matter.

I wish you many elegant potholders in your future!

 

More pouches than a kangaroo

This is a cute pouch! Was taught how to add pockets with zippers and tab ends on zippers with this project.DSC00393
This is the Triple Zip Pouch and you can find the directions at A Quilter’s Table. She ran a Triple Zip-Along on flickr and I participated. DSC00394

I am going to make myself a new bag with these same fabrics. This cute pouch will be an important insert where I will have more places to store (lose) my important stuff.

At the end of the directions I found a slightly easier way to finish the sides and then I squared off the bottom like I like to do. But that’s the only difference that I made.

A separate note about logistics, just to get it off my chest. Don’t you just hate Smartpost? I also hate that companies use it for shipping without letting you know before. I ordered some fabric from Connecting Threads online and they did it. The package started its journey A MONTH AGO!!! I am still trying to find it. The tracking info says its been in the regional post office for 10 freaking days. Called them this morning and they will look into it. I will never order again from CT.

 

Cutie bag

I made another cute bag!

I plan to use it for toiletries and sundries. I don’t travel much, except for the unexpected and surprise visits to Children’s Hospital. Anyways… it holds a lot.

And it was not hard to make. I bought a pattern (horrors!) download from Connecting Threads called A Little Duffle Do It. It uses 2 fat quarters of coordinating fabrics.

This is the large size. I made some changes to the instructions. I didn’t use the interfacing and whatnot, I used fusible fleece. I added the handle which is absolutely essential. I didn’t use ribbon for the zipper tabs I used fabric. And I quilted the bottom of the bag with straight lines.

I like the wild fabric. It catches the eye for sure. I don’t think I will misplace this bag.

I also found another blog with a tutorial for making a bag like this but not exactly the same… sew4home.com. It’s worth a visit to the site.

Easy Peasy Eyeglasses Case

I looked around online for an easy eyeglasses case to make with scraps. Tried a few things and then came up with this that I really like. Sharing time! Here is a free tutorial so you can make your own…

HOW TO MAKE AN EASY PEASY EYEGLASSES CASE

1.Cut 2 fabrics (outer and lining) and one piece of batting (I like warm and white cotton) to 5.5″ x 7″. Make it 6″x7″ for sunglasses or large frames. If you have very small glasses, cut it 5″x6″. It should be tight enough so the glasses don’t easily fall out.

2. Layer them like a quilt and match the edges: lining face down, batting, and outer facing up.

3. Cut a curve from the middle top to the right edge about 1/3 down the side. Cut a small curve on the top left corner.

4. Move the lining to the top so that the right sides of the fabrics are facing each other.

5. Tip: cut the bottom corners off the batting. This will make the piece easier to turn out and to sew over.

6. Sew around the edge with a 1/4″ seam leaving 2 inches open at the bottom for turning. Clip off the corners close to the stitching.

7. Turn right side out, batting should stay inside. Carefully push out the curves and the corners.

8. Press flat and press in the seam allowance on the open space.

9. Quilt as desired. Simple diagonal lines work well. Or, don’t quilt it at all!

10. Fold the piece in half the long way and pin.

11. Using your machine’s walking foot and a decorative stitch, start at the top middle of the back and sew around the edge toward the joining of the front and back. Be careful to catch the folded over right edge and don’t let it scrunch up under the presser foot. Continue sewing all layers together and go around the bottom right corner and then the bottom of the case, closing the open space. Sew off the left folded egde and you are done. Easy peasy!

Pillow Talk

I’ve been sewing again, getting some projects successfully completed. Others are in several stages of progress. I can’t work on just one thing at a time. I have to have something else to move to when I get tired of one thing. Not like breakfast cereal. I’m ok with eating the same stuff day after day, year after year.

I made this pillow…

with the help of the Esch House blog and her “pillow along”. It’s 20″ and fairly good sized. That’s it sitting on my couch. I made it from scraps of Laura’s star quilt and some solid greenish-blueish. There’s even a zipper on the back for changing out the pillow form. It was a fun project. It can be a Christmas present for L, a pillow to go with her quilt.

There’s a quilt on my home frame waiting for me to start quilting it. I have to get to it soon too because the damn cat is starting to want to sleep in and on it while its on the frame. (piss me off). And there’s another quilt ready to go onto the frame when that’s done.

And I have a curvy quilt all cut out and starting to be pieced together. All curves. You know that’s a challenge. And there’s plenty of other projects lined up.

As if I didn’t have enough of those, I made #1 girl some new skirts. 2 of flannel and 1 of fleece. Here she is modeling one of them…

They came out well so I got more fabric! 1 flannel, 1 fleece, and 1 knit curdoroy are waiting in line. They have an elastic waist and a flair so there’s a nice drape over her knees. She wore the fleece one this morning. (It was chilly! The heat came on in the house.) She had on 3 fleece items: skirt, vest, and jacket. Speaking of fleece… I’m making her a new poncho. Cut it out and started sewing this afternoon. I’m trying to keep her warm this fall.

As you can see I have more than enough to keep me out of trouble.

Puddles and anxiety

Today I was in a quilting frenzy. I had to turn on a fan cuz I was ‘gently glistening’ into large puddles. It had nothing to do with hot flashes, rather my anxiety with doing machine quilting. Last week, before the big shew, I had set up the quilt on the big frame. If you don’t know already, that by itself is a big step in the process and can take an hour or so. Keep in mind that I haven’t used this contraption in about 2 years and the dust was thick. I also had been using the table part of the frame for general messiness. Doing this quilt was a major upheaval of the sloppy room I call my studio. Anyways, the quilt was ready to start just had to spin me a bobbin or two. After staring at it for some time I finally started. I had to keep taking breaks: laundry, get the mail (involves getting in the car and driving), lunch, more laundry. Around midday it was done. It’s not a large quilt! It was only a large meander pattern! Then I needed a shower. Not really. Then I put the binding on. Ta-da! Really finished. Picture taken.Image

The dark blue is really more like navy. I used the flash.

So the story with this quilt is that it is meant for a baby, boy most likely. It is a quilt that my guild will donate this year. We’re making all baby quilts this year. This one is bigger and could be a great play mat or keep him warm well into middle school. All the fabric was donated to the guild. Some of the girls got some free patterns (this one was from All People Quilt online) and cut up fabric to make kits for the patterns. I picked up one and quickly had the top put together… back in January, ahem. A roll of batting was purchased by the guild and I got a piece. All that was left was the …. quilting. Image

It’s a pretty blanket. Came out nice.