Thursday, December 31, 2009

Brown Paper Packages: Swaptastic

I love that the crafty blogosphere gives us all the opportunity to share our projects and our thoughts and inspiration and missteps and our favorite things.  I also love the awesome bloggers that host swaps that allow us to exchange actual THINGS.  Things that you can feel and use and get for free can share with other lovely ladies who craft.

I've done three swaps this year, two for supplies and one for handmade gifts.  In my supply exchanges I've received tons of awesome buttons, so really pretty trims and ribbons, fat quarters that I never would have bought for myself but loved as soon as I had them in my hands, vintage bias tapes and scraps that I've done my best to make into lovely finished items. 

My handmade gift exchange I sent off (in a huge rush) about a week before Christmas as soon as I realized that mail delivery was going to start slowing down and I needed to get my butt in gear.  The rules of the exchange were one gift to spoil the person, one gift for the home and one gift to eat.  (Don't worry, for the gift to eat my roommate offered to give me some outrageously tasty Holiday pastry balls (heh) to send so that my giftee was spared my baking.)  I wish I had bothered to take better pictures, but I was flying to get them into the box.

The "for the person" gift was this granny bag.  The handles are a brown suede lace and the fabric is a Kaffe Fassett print from my local quilt shop.  I love a granny bag because they're so easy to throw a bunch of things in and tote around, but they're cute enough so you don't feel like your schlubbing a junk bag. 

I ended up making two "for the home" gifts.  I first made this fabric basket out of a creamy linen and (vintage, maybe?) floral print that I just LOVE, but I had such a small amount of scrap left over from the granny bag that I wanted to give the pillow a try.  The envelope flaps on the back are the same print as the bag and the criss-cross on the front.  It ended up matching so nicely and looked so pretty with the linen that I included it in the package.  

I hope my recipient has as much fun opening these treats as I had making them.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Last gift of 2009. And dinner.

I hope that everyone has been able to celebrate a fantastic Holiday season so far.  Less than a week to go until 2010!

My last holiday project was thought up, stitched up and given away all in under an hour.  When I was in San Francisco a few months ago my friend was searching in all of the jewelry shops for a leather bracelet.  She was on her way over this weekend for a girls night and I happened to be in the basement and spotted some suede lace that I had gotten to make straps.  I didn't have anything to properly fasten a bracelet with, despite a box full of jewlery making supplies in the basement, so I just folded in the edges sewed on a snap. 

It's a bit of a rush job, and I'm not sure it perfectly fits the vision, but I like the way it looks.  I'm pretty sure that I'll be applying my usual one-for-me-one-for-you rule and making another one in the near future.

Today, though, all I made for myself was this.

It was delicious.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And the piggy goes oink oink

So, you've got this cousin who likes purple and likes pigs and just moved to a new house.  Plus, there's a pretty big holiday coming up where the tradition of gift giving is pretty prominent. 

If only there was something that seemed made for a situation like this.  Enter Pig Let by Echino.

Then, add some sand colored sueduecloth and two 16"x16" pillow forms bought on a super sale at Jo-Ann, and you've got these!

These were actually some of the first Christmas gifts that I made, they'll be the last to get wrapped, and one of the first to be given away.  I think that's about fitting.

I've got one more last minute gift to make in a hurry tomorrow evening, and then I'm calling it off. 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Many fine things can be done in a day

This is not one of them.

I've made tote bags similar to this before, including the one that I carry almost everyday, but this one was causing me so much stress that I kept putting it to the side to finish other projects instead.  Even so, I'm really psyched about the way this turned out.  I'm having such a problem letting it go that I see a olive green linen and brown gingham sibling in my future.  I love the way it looks, I love that it's really roomy but doesn't look like a massive suitcase and I love the way the pleats make it look a little bit more interesting than just a plain tote.  I've got to say, though, making a bag this big and this pleated with slippery, wrinkle prone linen made me say bad words more than I'd like to admit.

I picked an oyster linen out for this one because it's a Christmas gift for my pickiest cousin and even though I've got a stash full of some really proper fabrics, I just know I'd never pick the right print.  I really like the simplicity of the linen though, and it makes it look a lot more sophisticated (snort) BUT! I did sneak these orange polka dots in as the lining, because there had to be just a little bit of livelihood. 

Before this one gets wrapped up it's definitely due for a short wash and steam to get rid of the wrinkles.  I was just so excited that it was finally done that I had to get it up right away! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear Santa

I like this game over at Fat Quarter Shop

Dear Santa,

For Christmas I would very much like anything in the whole wide world by Anna Maria Horner, because I think her fabric is just the knees of a bee.  Mostly, though, I want these two things because this here Folksy Flannels line looks super soft and super colorful and just...super.

For some odd reason, I think because between my skin and my hair I look like a pile of snot when actually wearing this color, I've been really craving mustard yellow lately.  I think that I might be able to pull it off as a scarf.  Also, I saw a purse at Marshall Field's a few weeks ago that was this color and I really fell in love but it was $96.00 so I think it's best I try and make something myself.

But, if I can't have that I for sure want some of this Fortune because not only is it one of my hands down favorite prints of all time, but, again, soft.  Wouldn't this make nice pillows for my bed, Santa?  (It would.)

Thanks, Santa.  Milk and cookies are promised.  Don't worry, I didn't make the cookies.


Monday, December 14, 2009


Internet, Christmas is (technically) eleven days away.
(Even though it is approaching 11:00PM, so I clearly only say eleven to make myself feel better because let's face it Christmas is ten days away.)

(And Christmas Eve is pretty much out of the question, because really, that's when Christmas actually begins, right.  Let's just call it what it is.  Christmas is nine days away.)

Before that day I need to finish three pillows, three towels, one purse and another mystery project.  Today, save for the minutes it will take me to type this, I have been flat in bed like this,

Yes, that is a Gal Pal and it is a miracle device.

Not quite migraine, but enough to make sewing straight lines with a noisy machine under the yellow light of the basement fixtures pretty much impossible. 


Friday, December 11, 2009

More kitchen linens

I've been sewing quite a bit for Christmas, but not much to be shown until after the Holiday is over.  I'm trying to fight off a itchy ear stuff nose type thing, which is putting a bit of a crimp in my plans.  I also can't seem to tear myself away from The Secret Life of Tiger Woods long enough to get everything done. 

Now for a project I can show, because it is a Christmas gift, I'm just not sure who for (me?  maybe?  my kitchen isn't blue and this doesn't match in the least?). 

Turns out that I do NOT think that poms are too much on dishtowels, because in the past week I've gotten white, orange and yellow poms and all are destined for kitchen towels and napkins.  The white was originally for a Holiday towel, and I picked up some Figgy Pudding at my local quilt shop but once I washed it I noticed hot pink spots all over it.  No longer fit for toweldom, I'll need to see what I've got left after I cut the pink out and work from there. 

Whoa.  Anyway.  Since I needed something to do with the white poms, I googled for this tutorial from Film In The Fridge (via Sew, Mama, Sew!), lengthened it and, duh, added poms. 

The blue is Quilter's Solid in nearly navy, the white is a plain linen and the scraps are...scrappy. 

I've got three (and a half) more must finish projects to complete by Christmas.   

Monday, December 7, 2009

Giveaway Winners!

I cannot even believe there were over 200 comments on the giveaway post!  I'm so happy that so many people participated.  I wish that everyone single person could win, but I'm not so much there with fundage and all, so...two winners. 

And, they are:

For the Buttercup bag...#42, EmileeHope!   (If this isn't you, a Buttercup is still totally in the cards.  They are such fun to make, and come together quickly.  Try to make your own using Rae Hoekstra's pattern)

For the cubed pouch kit...#115, Jennifer (Jennifer1318)!  (I'd sure love if you could send me a photo of your finished pouch.  Hint, hint!)

If you're EmileeHope or Jennifer, shoot an email with your address so your goodies can get themselves in the mail. 

Thanks again to everyone who played alone, and a huge thank you to Sew, Mama, Sew! for hosting Giveaway Day!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kitchen Kaboodle

I decided to officially start my Christmas shopping today, far, far too late in the season if the traffic leading up to the mall was any indication.  There were security guards directing traffic into the various parking lots.  I nearly turned around right then.

While I was shopping for others, I decided to pop into Anthropologie for myself, not to buy anything (not that I wouldn't love to buy up the whole store, but alas...) but to just soak up all of the visual eye candy. 

I saw two kitchen towels and a napkin set that I just had to try as soon as I got home. 

I have an Anna Maria Horner print that I think this will look super neat with, but I wanted to try it out on another (read: cheaper) stash fabric before I cut into in.  Kind of like a kitchen muslin, yeah?  Plus I wanted to see if it was maybe just a bit...too much?  Is it?  I can take it?  Are the poms overkill? (I like them.)

I took a fat quarter, squared it up so the edges would be even and pressed a double 1/2" hem around the whole thing.  I used a small strip of macrame cord in the corner to hang the towel with. 

The napkins were pretty plain, with just little accents on each end.  I was pretty tired by the time I tried these out, so I just made a 12" square napkin and made the corner poms by wadding up some trashed fabric strips, folding 2" squares of the kitchen towel fabric around it and tying the middle to hold them together.  I attached them to the napkin with embroidery floss.  If I make a full napkin set I for sure want to attach and tie off with the same color thread. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Book It

First things first.  I am totally floored by the comments on the last post!  You all are far, far too kind.  If it's the Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day post you're looking for, head here.  You're more than welcome to stick around and read on, though.


The latest bag of the Holiday Season Of Non-stop Sewing is for my mom's book club gift swap.  Just a simple flat-bottomed tote, but with pockets in the front instead of on the inside.

Since this is meant for a book club member, I put the handles a bit further apart than standard to make sure a paperback could fit in the pockets.  The side pockets are smaller that way, but will still easily fit pens/pencils and a cell phone if it's thin enough (read: not mine). 

The pocket fabric is the oh-so-swoonable Authentic by Sweetwater.  The lining and bag body were supposed to be the Word Play print of the same line, but, it just didn't look right I cut it upside down.  Oops. 

Luckily!  I'm very stingy and will not throw away extra fabulous fabric just because I effed up.  So, I made this.

I have no idea where this scrap of green came from, but it matches my black and lime green bathroom pretty great.  I was going to make the outside of the basket green to show a little more color in an otherwise boring room, but like I said...STINGY! I wanted to show off the pretty.  I've got just enough of each left to make another basket, so maybe I'll do that one inverted?  Maybe.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Giveaway Day!

It's the day we've all been waiting for!  Sew, Mama, Sew! is hosting Giveaway Day!

I've got two chances to win today, one for a finished Buttercup Bag (adapted from the design by Rae Hoekstra) in a creamy white linen/rayon blend with a simple sage green cotton print lining and band. 

Then!  Another reader will get a kit to follow my tutorial and make a complete cubed drawstring pouch.  5 charm squares (Michael Miller and... I forgot.  Cute, though), a linen/rayon blend for the lining, 16" of trim for the casings, 44" of ribbon for ties, and a scrap of decor bond to sturdy up the bottom.  You're totally covered, just add sewing machine and thread.

The Good Stuff:
1.  Comment on this post to enter.  Gain another entry by tweeting or blogging about this post, then come back and leave another comment with the link.
2.  The giveaway will close December 6, 2009, winners to be posted December 7, 2009.
3.  If your email address isn't public on your blog and/or blogger profile, please leave it in your comment.
4.  This giveaway is open to anyone is the whole wide world.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the blogs/shops participating in Giveaway Day.  I know I'll have some stiff competition for all of the neat swag out there!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

(Sock) Monkeying around

Thanksgiving weekend absolutely flew by.  Which is surprising, really, seeing as I was awake for about 20 out of 24 hours for at least three of the Black Friday weekend days. 

A few days before Thanksgiving, though, I went to a birthday party for a extra special (and extra cute) little boy that was turning one!

His mom mentioned an Ugly Doll a few weeks before his birthday, so I gave softie making a try and made a pseudo-Ugly Doll out of two fat quarters and embroidered his face.  I just realized that I didn't take pictures of his backside, but it was bright yellow with the alphabet (in all the other bright colors) floating around. 

I also trimmed some bathroom towels with the cutest sock monkey print that I found (on sale!) at a local quilt shop.  I bought a half yard and the towels didn't even require half of it.  I'm afraid the full effect is a bit marred, as I discovered that there were exactly zero angles at which my towel bar could be photographed that did not include a view of the toilet,  So, here they are IN my shower.  Not pictured: me, huddling under the shower head hoping that the water didn't spontaneously turn on (no, it's never done that before, and yes, I realize how unlikely it was) and soak me, the camera and the towels.

Now I need to find another kiddie-friendly project to use up the rest of it!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cubed Drawstring Pouch: Tutorial

Better late than never, right?  Right.

To get started with this pouch, you'll need:
6 squares of fabric measuring 5".  I used charm squares, so they were precut
1 16" by 5" rectangle
1 strip trim (I used cotton lace) 16"
1 5" square interfacing
2 22" strips drawstring cord (I used suede lace) (not pictured)

Plus, the usual suspects: scissors/rotary cutter, thread, pins, sewing machine

Assumptions:  1/4" seam, unless noted.  Clip all seams after stitching.  That I was getting antsy and forgot to photo some steps. 

1.  Arrange 4 squares to make the sides of the pouch.  With right sides together sew squares together to form 1 long strip.

2.  Fold strip in half lenghtwise and sew the raw 5" sides together. 

Flipped right side out (but you don't need to flip it yet) it will look like this.

3. If you're using fusible interfacing, fuse it to the wrong side of your bottom square now.  If you're using sew-in, baste it now.

4. Right sides together, pin the bottom square, matching corners, to the sides of the pouch.  Use a lot of pins if you need to keep it in line.

5.  With the sides facing up (if they don't flop down, fold them toward the middle), sew around all four edges of the pouch bottom.  Pivot at each corner with the needle still in to sew all of the edges.  You may have to "flip" your pouch side under your needle to keep sewing aftter turning.  That's OK.  You also might want to backstitch at the corners for strength.

6.  Flip right side out.

7.  Take long rectangle (lining) and fold in half, right sides together, with the two short raw edges lined up.  Sew raw edges.

8.  Pin inside bottom, right sides together, to the lining sides just as you did the outer sides and sew (just as you did the outside).  Leave about a two inch opening on one edge for turning.

9.  Cut 8 2" strips of your trim (to be used as the drawstring casing) and fold in half to  make 1" loops.

10.  Put the pouch outer inside of the pouch lining (make sure right sides are facing) matching up the side seams.  As you match them up, pin the casing strips in between the two layers.  The loop with be facing down and the raw edges will line up with the raw edges of your pouch.  Put the casing strips at each side seam, and halfway (2.25") between each seam.

11.  Sew around the entire top of pouch, backstitching over the casing strips for stability.

12.  Pull the pouch through the hole you left for turning, poking out the corners. 

13.  Using a slip stitch or with a scant 1/8" seam on your machine sew the hole closed.

14.  Push the lining into the pouch, and press the top even.

15.  Topstitch 1/8" from the edge of the pouch. 

16.  Cut the 2 22" drawstring cords

17.  Weave the cords through the casing and tie the ends together.  Begin weaving your second cord into the casing strips you tied your first cord off at.  You want the tied edges to be on opposite sides of the pouch.  (Note:  These might shift as you use them, just adjust them as you like)

18.  Cinch up the drawstring to close the pouch.

19.  Admire.  Use.  Repeat.

If you have trouble or if you make a pouch and want to share it email me!

Like the pouch but want to save the time of making it?  I've got a few in my shop

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sneak peek

I've been a woman obssessed! 

I've made a whole bunch of these in the past few days, and I know it's late, but I've got a tutorial coming, hopefully by Monday.  I just need to crop the pictures and put them in order.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Table covers: part deux

Last week I finished up the tablecloths that I had been putting off for about a month.

Today I finished a table runner that I've been putting off far longer.  I made a basket liner for my mom (she calls is a bun warmer.  hee hee!) and had a ton of material left over.  She's been asking for a table runner for a long time, so I decided to use the leftovers to make one.

Reversible, even.

I tried to find a tutorial on the Internet to save myself too many mathematical calculations, but everything I found was too short to drape over the ends of the table, so I was forced to try and multiply on my own.  I decided to wimp out, basically, and cut one side into equal 6.5" strips, and then cut 4 10" strips for the other side and used the scraps from the first side to make up the difference.  I used fusible interfacing on one side because I wanted the ends to drape nicely over the end of the table.  The fabric was also very light, so I wanted to minimize the seethroughness.

The real brain tease, though, was measuring the bias tape that I used to bind it.  I used a super neat tutorial I found on Fabritopia's blog and crossed my fingers.  I used my last square of fabric to make the bias tape and as I was binding it I started to sweat because I didn't want to have:
a.) to seam rip the whole damn runner
b.) to run to Jo-Ann and buy two packages of bias tape, delaying the finish even longer
c.) wasted all that time chasing my fingers with an iron to make the tape to begin with.

Luckily, with three whopping inches to spare, I had enough.

She better like it.  I hope she likes it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm not sure this even counts as sewing

I've acually been putting the project off for a long time, and the only excuse I have is I didn't want to cut and iron such a big square.

My mom is hosting Thanksgiving this year, which involves seating more people than her kitchen table will allow, so the plan is to put card tables in the family room and eat there.  Today, about a month after the fabric was purchased, I finished the tablecloths for the card tables.

Care for a mini tutorial? 

I cheated when determining the size of the tablecloth.  I had one huge piece of fabric (3 yards?  I said it had been a long time since it was purchased!), so I folded it selvedge to selvedge, cut off any frays or shrinkage from washing/drying and measured.  It was 51". 

Then I cut the other raw edge to measure 51", too, so I had two giant squares.

Fold and press a double 1/2" seam all the way around, pinning as you go.

Sew 1/4" hem around the whole tablecloth, and then another 1/4" away from the original hem. 

Press the whole thing, then throw it on the table. 


Monday, November 9, 2009


I noticed a huge spike in views this past weekend, and tracked them to a Brazilian blog linking to my coasters tutorial.

I love how our things can travel around the craftblogosphere and be seen by so many people we'd never get to share them with otherwise.

Of course, I can't speak Portugese, so her commenters could have been all "eff this girl and her stinkin' coasters" and I would be none the wiser, but, I'd much rather hope they're putting the tutorial to good use!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Instead of supporting sweatshops...

...I've become one.

So.  Long time no blog.  I've actually been in a sewing frenzy the past few days, however, there are next to no finished objects I can show the internet as most of them have been gifts, and inquiring minds want to peek at the blog and ruin their surprises.  Which, really, is too bad, because I'm really digging some of the projects.

What I can show you are these patchwork bags, because even if they do end up as surprises, even I don't know who they're for yet.  I'd say that means I'm not ruining much.

I'm loving making these bags with so many different prints.  Isn't it fun to see how totally different colors and prints can look so neat together?

I picked up some Rouenneries last week, so as soon as I stop feverishly working on things for other people, I plan on making something for ME, ME, ME!

Monday, November 2, 2009


My vacation is over. 

I took a few days off and went to visit a friend in San Francisco.  I came back and it was cold, dreary and daylight savings time, which means I now both leave for work and drive home from work in the dark.  Seasonal Affective Disorder, here I come!

I at least managed to snag a few treats while I was there.  Yes, that includes chocolate, and no, it's not still around to photograph.

I've got itty bitty fingers, so I love when I'm able to find funky rings like these that actually fit me.  The one with the orange stone actually fits on my ring fingers, not just my middle and pointer.  Whoo!

I found these at a street shop.  There was a bucket of them, fabric pieces about 6"x7".  Each is printed with what looks like it might be Buddhist script.  I'm not really sure what they're for, or what I want to do with them, but they were too interesting to pass up.

I've got a few things on my To Make List this week, I'll show them as they come about.  For now I need to get some laundry done, get some food made and think about missing vacation.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sock Sack

I'm heading off for a long weekend getaway and this time instead of going on a bag making frenzy I made just one bag.  And it's not even for me!

I'll be staying with a friend who has recently learned to knit, so I used another of Terry Atkinson's tutorials and made a knitting tote as a thank you gift.  I modified the tutorial a little bit and added a lining, since I knew all those frayed ends would haunt my dreams.  I used the scraps from my Lickety Split bag to make the sack.

The beatuy of the sack, supposedly, is that the yarn can feed right out of the drawstring opening and not get tangled or knotted while you work.  The zipper pocket on the side hold whatever knitting accoutrements you'd like to lug around with you. 

I'm including a pattern book and a skien of yarn to sweeten the deal just a little bit.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Other places: True Up

If I had to take all but a handful of blogs off my overpopulated Google Reader, I'd fight like hell to keep True Up on the list. 

Quilt Market was a few weeks ago in Houston, and fabric and/or sewing bloggers have been heating up the Internets with their recaps, but True Up is making me feel like I was RIGHT THERE, MAN!  Currently I'm drooling over some of the Japanese prints they've got photos of, including some double sided fabric (whoa) with a different print on either side (whoa whoa whoa).  I'm madly in love with all of the multi prints panels out these days, but double sided linen is just blowing my mind. 

It's almost criminal that we get to see all of these smokin' hot prints, but can't buy them in stores for weeks to months, isn't it?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Giveaway winner!

I used to pick the giveaway winner, and the 5th commenter, Amy Menges will soon be finding a scrap bag in her mailbox!

Congratulations, Amy! You'll be receiving and email from me, or you can send your address to detailspecialtygoods (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thanks, everyone, so much for your great comments! I'm planning another giveaway soon, so stay tuned. Also, to answer the question left in the comments, I'm thinking I will post a tutorial for the mini tote. I'll be on a little getaway next week, so I'll be pressed for time the next few days, but I'll try and get it up after that.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

If at first you don't succeed...

try a few more times until you finally have to go to bed.

I snagged a yard of linen today for only $3.00 thanks to a little stain in the selvedge corner.  And, since I'm super-instant-gratification girl, I wanted to do something with it rightnowrightnowrightnow.

Luckily, I thought better of it and decided on a test run using an unbleached cotton that is linen-y looking.  I came up with a pouch that was so great looking in my head, and this here is the third attempt at actually getting it right. 

This side is what I wanted.  The other side, the one I couldn't bear to photo, has one strip of white that somehow is quite a bit larger than the other.  Some type of slippage, I'd assume.  I really, really like it though, so I'll keep going.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Zip it

A few months back I participated in a gift exchange hosted by My Mama Made It.  The gifts were full of the senders' spare trims, buttons, fabric, etc...

Aside from a huge pile of buttons and a card full of ribbon from my sender, Jessica, I also got a bunch of fabric!  I've had it sitting on my sewing table for a long time waiting for an opportunity to use it and today!, well, I got impatient.

Four zippy pouches!  They're all different sizes had little to do with what I felt like making and more to do with the size of the zippers and the fabric cuts.  Plus, I've still got enough of each these left for some patchwork pieces, plus a few more big cuts that I still need to turn into something neat.

I've got an idea (well, more like I want to recreate rip-off something I saw at Macy's) for some of the buttons.  Busy day tomorrow, but if it works out well I'll post it.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway before Thursday!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Giveaway! Scrap bag

Hello, Sew, Mama, Sew readers! Thanks so much for following my tutorial link.

To help celebrate Scrap Busters Month just a little bit more, I'm having a giveaway of...what else? A scrap bag!

One reader will get this purple charm square mini tote full of these fabric scraps plus a few more once I raid my bin. There will be enough to make a set of these coasters and then some! Applique, cover buttons, patchwork or, better yet, check out Sew, Mama, Sew for the rest of October for all of their scrap buster ideas.

To enter the giveaway:
Leave a comment on this post for one entry and tweet about the giveaway for another entry (leave another comment to tell me you tweeted).

Open to international readers as well, just make sure I can contact you by email.  I'll end the giveaway at midnight EST on Thursday October 22.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pillow talk

When I was sick last week I spent quite a bit of time in bed, and noticed that both of my throw pillows are a bit dingy.  Well, fine, one has been questionable for awhile, but it's the perfect size and shape and so comfy that I just didn't want to part with it.

So, since I didn't want to give them up, or pop for three new pillows, I decided to recover them.

Both fabrics are from Joel Dewberry's Ginseng line.  The orange is one of the (washed and fluffed) throws that I recovered.  No, I couldn't bare to take a before picture.  The brown is actually a pillow form that I covered awhile ago, but I think they go together pretty nice.  Both are backed in a super soft chocolate brown flannel, which I ran out of before I could recover the other throw.  I plan on fixing up that one, too, as soon I can replenish my flannel stash.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Charm square mini tote

While I was sewing the other day I was listening to the CraftyPod episode called Crafting Japanese.  I visited the website and, even though I had listened to the entire podcast, was still disappointed to see that all of the books on the site weren't just about Japanese crafts, but actually Japanese. 

Pretty pictures, though.  Including some of the cutest little drawstring baggies that I just knew I had to try.  The drawstring channel is just loops of ribbon or tape, meaning that the actual cord is really visible and not hidden by the casing. 

The bags looked pretty much like fabric boxes without any stabilizer, so that was the assembly route I took.  Attempt 1 was the purple bag and Attempt 2 was the green one.  The sides are all precut charms (Eva by Basic Grey for Moda), so they're about 5" square.

What I love about the loops for the drawstring is that it'll give me a chance to show off some of that amazing trim that I got at the Sewing Expo.  Will that not make the best casings and ties?  A pretty pink bag with that super sweet baby girl tape?  Next I want to make one from Sweetwater's new line, Authentic, with the alphabet tape.  Swoon.

Oh!  And look what managed to make an appearance as the lining of the green bag?

The never ending thrifted sheet!  I'm going to be so sad when I use up the last of this one.

(P.S. I've got plans for one of these bags coming up soon.  Stay tuned...)   It's a giveaway!  Comment on the giveaway post to enter.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bag lady

It's becoming more and more of a theme.


They're just about all I've been making, except for a sleeveless top that I finally managed to drag out of my WIP bin and finish off...just as soon as the weather dipped to 40 degrees.  Eh, it'll look awfully nice under a cardigan.  As soon as my nose returns to it's normal color (or at least fades to pinkish instead of bright red) and I can be bothered to dress in real clothing, I'll make sure to snap a photo.

Anyway, bags.  I'm planning on making quite a few for Christmas, both as gifts and as gift wrapping.

Um, wow.  Two gifts in one?  Yeah, I just bet you wish you knew me!

I'm playing around with some shapes and sizes that I like, and I hit on a good one here.  I sewed darts into the bottom for some depth, as I like darts much better that a mitered corner.  Doesn't mess with the shape of the rest of the bag.  That bottom won't be as flat, but the body of the bag will hang flatter (no, I'm not sure that's a word either). 

Stash fabric, unknown origin, chocolate brown cotton canvas.  The straps are cotton webbing from JoAnn. 

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day two

I'm not a very good Festival goer.

Still sick.  That's about all.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Calling in sick

I think I've figured out why I was so blah and yuck this week.

Runny nose.

Itchy eyes.

Sore throat.

Pluggy ears.

The end.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Scrap Buster: Quilted Coasters

Is it check in time?

Hi.  I save fabric scraps.  Bigger scraps, sure, but also small scraps.  Very small scraps.

Sew, Mama, Sew! is hosting Scrap Busters Month, and along with getting some great ideas for using up my own stash, I'm sharing one of my own favorite scrap busters.

Behold, the (sort of) Quilted Coaster.  These are awesome, because any little tiny bit that you've saved along the way will work.  I'm talking the tiniest of the tiny can be used.

1. Gather materials.
You'll need:
6" square low loft batting
Rotary cutter and mat OR scissors
The usual suspects (sewing machine, thread, iron...)

2. Cut scraps.  You'll want to have a finished square 5.5", and I used a variety of scrap sizes to make these.  The smallest were 1" X 2" the biggest 5.5" X 5.5".  (I got a bit lazy and didn't patchwork the back of the coaster, only the front.  Feel free to show me up and patchwork both sides.)

3. Patchwork.  To put together your top sew the pieces right sides together with a 1/4" seam allowance until you have your finished square.  I pieced them into strips 5.5" long, and then sewed the strips together to form the square.

4. Measure your square for size and then trim any threads or leftover fabric bits.

5.  Quilt your coaster top.  I just stitched straight lines about an inch away from each other.  (I stitched a contrasting square in one of them as well.)

5 1/2.  Embrace wonkiness, your coasters have character!

6.  Make a coaster (quilt) sandwich.  I layer the 5.5" bottom square right side up, patchworked top right side down and then batting on top.  Stitch around three full sides, leaving a 2" opening on one side for turning.

7.  Turn right side out, poking our corners and smoothing coaster.  Press flat, folding in opening.

8.  Stitch along the edges of the coaster 1/8" away from the edges, closing the opening as you go.

9.  Trim threads.

10. Grab drink, prop up feet, marvel at neat looking coaster.

10 1/2.  Decide you want a whole set, grab remaining scraps and make more coasters!

ETA: I'm having a scrap busting giveaway!