Tuesday, January 31, 2017

First WIP done!

I was cleaning off my cutting table, when I came upon this little scrap piece:

There was not a pattern with it and I could not remember what I was making, other than I didn't like it. Hence it had been put aside.
Since I'm wanting to finish at least one work-in-progress each month this year, I decided to make something of it, and pulled out similar scraps. I made it up as I went along and ended up making this:

It has become a great little thread catcher, to have by my machine.

There is something so satisfying about using up small scraps.
Happy stitching!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The 2016 Final Countdown Challenge continued...

The second task, Shelly gave us to do, was to:

Tackle all the flat surfaces.

You can read all about it HERE.  She has some great ideas to help with this!

After a few days of organizing, I'm happy to say that my cutting tables are finally cleared off! My room now looks like this:

It probably won't be like this for long, but it's nice to have an occasional pic of it cleaned up!

Other things I changed in the process:
- since the storage bags went onto the shelves, I could put 3 roller carts under my cutting table along with some boxes of batting scraps.
- boxes of magazines are now on change table, which I had used for pressing.  I'm hoping this will remind me to go through them and toss what I don't need. Serger is also there, so it's off my cutting table.

I do try to tidy up after any sewing, so it doesn't get too out of control. My main motivation to do this, is my cat! She gets into things all the time! I've seen her go after pins and thread, eat batting and felt and many times has played with pattern pieces so they were torn to bits! So I try to put things away as best I can each day.

Now onto the third and final challenge, that Shelly has given us.

It is to get committed. 

You can read about it HERE.

So upon thinking about this, my commitments will be to:
1. Spend at least one hour every day in my sewing room.
2. Eliminate those storage bags and have all my fabrics on that shelving unit, neatly folded.
3. Work on at least one work-in-progress each month and finish it.
4. Continue to use up old fabrics in scrap quilts like my tumbler quilt, as leaders and enders projects.

Thanks again, Shelly, for getting the year off to a great start!
Happy stitching everyone, in 2017!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Final Countdown Challenge for 2016

Shelly, of Prairie Moon Quilts, once again hosted her Final Countdown Challenge, to help us get our sewing spaces in order for the New Year.  This has been very helpful to me in the past, so I definitely wanted to do it again.

The first task, which you can read about HERE, is to:

Get your fabric stash under control.

So I decided to tackle my shelving unit that holds alot of my fabrics and magazines.  It looked like this:

I pulled everything off and tried to reorganize it, so it looked like this a few days ago.

I liked it, but then I got the idea that I'd like it to hold all my non-quilting fabrics.  My quilting fabrics are mostly stored in small bins with a designated project.  But my bulky non-quilting fabrics, such as fleece, flannel, and old clothes to re-purpose, are mostly stored in Ziploc storage bags. I had them under my drafting table, and were rather hard to see what I had.
So I decided to move the two units and try putting all the bags on the shelves. It now looks like this:

I know it's not really attractive, but this is located behind the door, so one doesn't see it right away.

Shelly asked in the challenge if we had a plan for our stash in 2017?
My plan/goals will be to:
- go through all these bags and sort out what to keep and what to give to charity.
- fold any yardage neatly in piles
- cut up clothes and keep only what is needed.
- make a few scrap quilts.

As I was doing all this, my daughter started decluttering her play area. She had various bins of small scraps and ribbons that we wanted to combine. She didn't want to get rid of a doll unit, so she decided to re-purpose it for all her scraps!

 Thanks, Shelly, for a fun and productive first task!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

A focus friend

As I mentioned in my previous post, my daughter goes to a French Immersion school. The children are allowed what they call, fidget toys, to be used at certain times of the day, like when they have 'carpet time' and have to sit and listen. So I got the idea to make her one, as she loves playing with my fabrics. I found THIS great tutorial on the Sew Mama Sew site and they call it a focus friend. Perfect!

My daughter had so much fun picking out the different fabrics, beads, ribbons, lace, and zipper for it! For fabrics, we used some hand dyed velour scraps, silk, drapery fabrics, waffle weave, faux fur, and even fleece from two of her favorite toddler jammies. The grey elastic and buttons were from an old pair of her pants.

I sewed and filled each pocket with white pellets just like in the tutorial. I had used a piece of muslin for the backing and I didn't like the roughness of it. So I used Jenny's method, from MSQC, to make a backing and self-binding out of soft fleece. You can see the video for it HERE.  My machine struggled with the thickness of the fabrics, so the stitching didn't come out well, but my daughter is just happy to have it done!
The only real tricky part I had with it, was not striking the pellets with my needle, as I did the sewing. So next time, I might try piecing the whole top first, then sewing up like a pillow and then fill with the poly pellets.
It was a very fun project for us to do together and if it proves helpful for her in class, I'm sure we will make more.

Thanks for dropping by and happy stitching!♥

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A teacher's gift

This past school year has been a year of change for my family, as my son started high school and my daughter started in a French Immersion school. It has been challenging for my daughter, as she is a year behind her classmates. The school is a grade one entry only, but they made an exception for my daughter and allowed her in at grade 2. Thanks to her wonderful teacher though, we feel it's been the best thing for her and she's getting a far better education than in our local English school.

So I wanted to make a little something to say thank you to this great teacher. I used the same tutorial as in my previous post, found on Moda Bake Shop HERE. This time, I used the same size strips as in the tutorial, whereas in the other one, they were cut a bit smaller, so I had used more. I used the fusible fleece to line the outer pieces and a light interfacing for the lining.

I just stitched in the ditch to quilt it this time and made a small square pocket on the lining.

For the zipper, I made end tabs again...I really like doing zippers this way! You can see, it's shorter than the lining and outer fabrics, so it makes it easy to sew up the sides, with less bulk.

And the finished bag...

I think these make great gifts as they are different than what you can buy in a store, and are fun to make. It's a great way to use up left over squares from a charm pack! I'm sure I'll be making more of these...but not for awhile. I'm going in for gallbladder surgery, so I don't expect to be sewing much in July.

Thanks for dropping by and happy stitching!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A few small, zippered bags

As I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to make a cosmetic bag. I was trying to use up the scraps I had left over from making the blue tote, and ended up doing some rather wonky piecing! I can't decide if I like it or not. But my 8 year old daughter decided she liked it and it would be great to hold her drawing things, which she takes everywhere we go.

For the inside, I made pockets and a divider.

 It's been great to have both our bags together, ready to grab and go out the door.

 I still needed a small bag for inside the tote, so I just did a simple bag, using up some old, favorite fabric on-hand.

For this one, I used fusible fleece, and really liked the outcome. It's soft, yet holds it's shape nicely.

This lead me to wanting to do some machine quilting, using the fusible fleece. I found THIS cute pouch on Moda Bake Shop which was perfect. I used charms from the Patisserie line by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda,  and quilted the seams with machine embroidery stitches.

To do this, I pieced the prints, fused them to the fleece, embroidered them, then added and fused on the bottom piece.

For the inside, I made two pockets for charge cards.

I did do the zipper differently than the tutorial, by adding tabs on the ends. I'm really happy with this one and already gave it away as a gift to a kind neighbour.

I have made another one, but I'll save it for the next post. There is something so satisfying about doing smaller projects! I'm sure I'll be making more of these in the future. It's such a great way to use up your scraps from other projects.

Thanks for dropping by and happy stitching!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A zippered, lined tote bag

I'm finally back to sewing a bit these days. I had some health issues, and let's just say, it's resulted in a complete change in my diet and surgery scheduled to have my gallbladder removed. Not fun, but I'm adjusting. Hence, there has been little time to sew, as it seems like all my time is being spent in the kitchen these days!

But awhile ago, I found THIS great video tutorial by Debbie Shore, on a zippered, lined tote bag. I decided to re-purpose an old shirt of my husbands', and a pair of my pants, for this...both were well worn and very soft.

This is how it turned out...

I'm really happy with it! It has lots of pockets and holds everything I need.
The other side,looks like this...

 I did the outer differently than the video, because I wanted to piece it, using my new serger. I've always wanted a serger to finish off seams, and it's so much fun and fast to use!
I used the technique found in THIS video tutorial, to do the piecing. I used up strips of batting left over from when I've trimmed down a quilt, prior to binding. The batting was not all the same, but it doesn't matter to me. I even zigzagged some pieces together to make the size I needed.

For the inside, I used a shirt pocket and made it a pocket, and did a zipper on a pocket. So I ended up with 4 pockets!

The inside of the bag is hard to take a pic of, but this is how it looks...

I also added loops to the lining sides, for my keys and phone to hook onto, and I want to make a detachable shoulder strap for it, that could hook on the loops.
This is with it holding everything I need; even books and toys for the kids! Considering it is from re-purposed clothes, old zippers and scraps of batting, I'm really happy with the outcome.
Now I just need to use up any leftover scraps, for a matching cosmetic bag.
Thanks for reading and dropping by! 
Happy stitching! :)