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! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Straight from Japan: A pick me up!

So.  I've been in a funk.  Top shelf, wallow in misery, want to stay in bed all day and waste away moodiness over here.

Today, after 8 hours of work yuckiness (yuckyness?) I drug myself home and checked the mail.


I love the rulers, that polka dot is just dreamy, BUT!, that Lecien?  With the printed ads?  It was like I could feel the sky opening and the sun shining through.  It's probably one of my top ten most favorite fabrics I've ever seen in my whole entire life. 

I saved the envelope, too.  Something about coming all the way from Japan just makes it seem so much cooler than a plain ol' packing envelope.  Does anyone else save overseas packaging?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


If I thought Sunday was a trying day, I wasn't at all ready for the ginormous storm of horrible that would hit me today.

So, for my Blogtoberfest post today, an ancient proverb that was probably said by somebody at some point in time:  Tomorrow has to be better, right?  RIGHT!??!

See you then.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Fat Sack

My aunt (the same one who dressed the dolls) came through with another request.  A 'green bag'.  Her company is asked different departments to donate prize packs to be auctioned off with proceeds going to charity.  And, no!, of course I don't remember which one...

She came up with a Go Green theme for her department's donation and asked for a reusable market/grocery/tote bag.  I decided to use the Fat Sack tutorial on Terry Atkinson's blog.  It's such a great tote, for all of the same reasons she writes on her own blog.  It's easily folded away, it smaller than some gargantuan bags that are too heavy once you fill them, it has a wide and flat bottom and also it's very cute. 

The w-pleat on the bottom is a nice break from the traditional boxed corners, and also makes it fold in very nicely when not packed full of goodies.

I first found out about this bag after overhearing a conversation at my local quilt shop, which is also where I got this fabric.  I didn't buy it with this bag in mind, but once I saw it in my stash I knew this was the project it was made for (I also got it in a white colorway).   It's a little stiffer than a standard quilting weight, but much thinner than a home decor fabric.  Still, it lent itself nicely.

They've got a whole slew of green-y and organic type products to fill up the bag before the auction.  I hope someone goes home happy (and enviromentally aware) with their prize!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Day 4: Pressure's on

I'm particpating in Blogtoberfest and I'd feel like a total-super-mega failure if I gave up on Day 4.  Four days in and you're already throwing it in? 

Not me.

Sunday is usually a day that I would post much anyhow, plus I've had a particularly trying day, so I'll placate the Internet by posting this picture of two sets of patchworked charm squares that will eventually become part of a Christmas present.  They're all from Moda's Blossom line, which I think is by Urban Chiks, and I also think isn't in print anymore.  I've had them around for awhile.

It's kind of in an experimental stage.  Pretty soon it will tell me what it wants to become.

I'll do better on Day 5.  Maybe.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Say it with fabric

It's the big day, people. 

Even my fabric is begging us all to Go Green! 

Sure, they mean the 'save the Earth' from pollution and energy waste green, but it was the best I can do. 

Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with something crafty.  For now, I've got football to watch and beer to drink. 

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mixed bag

I had a real urge today to make something. Something that could be finished and used right away and preferrably hung on my dresser drawer knob so that I could look and feel better about having a sucky day because looking at pretty things I made usually makes me feel better.

What didn't make me feel better was the total chaos that greeted my on my sewing desk. Scraps and castoffs from most of this week's projects, as well as some other junk that keeps getting pushed around.

See the fabrics from the Lickety Split bag? And the cross body hobo? And my new tote?  Yep.  That's how I cleaned up.  By cutting three inch sqaures of everything on my table and making a patchwork bag.  There's also some other bits from past projects and a charm from a new Moda line. 

A drawstring bag is one of the easiest projects to make, patchwork is fun because you get to see your best fabrics all hanging out in one spot and who can't use more of them around the house/office/car/whatever.  Just stuff it, grab it and go.

I've also made kind of a resolution with myself to start lining more things with a print or a contrasting fabric. A nice unbleached cotton is usually my lining of choice, but I had a thrifted sheet in my stash that made for a fun lining, and I really like how it turned out. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Mommy Bag

A good friend of my roommate had her first baby a few weeks ago.  Before he was born, M. asked my to make a bag for the new mommy.  She specified that she didn't want a diaper bag, she wanted a mommy bag.  She planned to fill it with slippers, makeup, lotions and other pampering type things.  I'm still arguing that for a new mom any and every bag is a diaper bag, but, I do as I'm told.

I was given the freedom to choose the fabric and the bag style, it just had to be big enough to hold a lot of diapers pampering stuff.  I went shopping with only two requirements: that the fabric be machine washable, and, even though it was a mommy bag, I knew she'd get an awful lot of blue stuff for the baby so I wanted the fabric to not be too girly, but still feminine. 

The color is a soft green, with tiny leaves that give a hint of a floral print.  I was really happy with how the bag turned out.  So much so that I reused the measurements and made one for myself.

I got the fabric (both prints) for this during my first ever trip to Hobby Lobby.  Both bags have an interior zipper pocket, they're about 15" tall, 11"wide and 3"deep and I interfaced the hell out of 'em.  The mommy bag is home dec, and mine is quilting cotton.  AND!, mine is an awfully lively and cheery print, which I may have chosen because I'm in total denial about the 52 degree weather outside.