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! :)

Friday, February 26, 2016

draw string bags

Finally I have something to post about! It seems like this entire month, one or more members of my family have been sick, including myself. Hence, not much sewing has been done. But I did just finish up these little bags for my daughter and her best friend.
I used a combination of methods found in two videos, HERE and HERE. I didn't box the bottom because my daughter liked it this way. It does keep the outside pockets, on either side, deep enough to hold a little treasure. We will be putting some goodies in the one to give to her friend.

I also made up some bookmarks for the girls. Here is one:

 You can find the video tutorial HERE on Crafty Gemini Creates. I just used regular elastic for mine, as that is what I had on-hand, and since my fabrics were rather thick, I didn't bother with an interfacing inside. But I think they came out fine. It's for the girls' school agendas, to help mark the week and find the date quickly while in class. I think it's a very simple and clever design, as it won't fall out of the book.
Thanks for dropping by and hopefully next month, I'll be able to post more often.
Happy stitching!

Friday, January 22, 2016

knitted dish cloths

After a long break, I finally picked up my knitting needles again. I've been so immersed in sewing, that I forgot how much I loved to knit. I don't do anything fancy..just things like hats and dishcloths. They are useful and easy to make. Here are my latest:

What motivated me to dig out my needles again, was the Creativity Challenge #2 that Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts is doing this year. For this past week, it was to:

Make your initial out of something.

At first, I was going to do it in needlework, but figured that would take too long. So then thought about knitting and a search of the web, turned up THIS wonderful page of free knitted monogram dishcloths. I'm sure I'll make more in the future for my family.

And it's not too late, if you want to jump in on the fun of this challenge. You can read all about it HERE on Shelly's blog. The supplies she recommended to have on-hand, I found that I had them already!

 The only thing I didn't have, was an adult coloring book. I was going to just use my daughters', but then found some beautiful one's in our local craft store.
Just look at this page!
I'll just have to do this one and frame and hang it in my sewing room!

So if you're up for a different kind of challenge this year, to spark your creativity, hop on over to Shelly's blog! I'm sure this will be a lot of fun!

Thanks for dropping by and happy stitching, drawing, quilting, painting...whatever makes your heart sing!

Friday, January 15, 2016

pot holders

To go with the apron in my previous post, I made up some pot holders.
 Tutorial used: pretty little pot holder found at Nana Company
What I did differently: instead of the ruffle, I used rick rack.And I hand stitched the binding down on the back instead of by machine.
Where I goofed: the fabrics I used were too thick. Next time I'd be sure to choose lighter weight cottons. And the pieced front I'm not keen on, but I only had scraps to work with.
Will I make it again? Sure. It was a great pattern, clearly explained and easy to follow!

Thanks for dropping by and happy stitching!

Friday, January 8, 2016

an apron

While folding fabric and trying to organize my sewing area, I found some fabrics of my mom's. She needs a new apron, so I decided to try to make her one.
I took an old apron and used that as a pattern. I had just enough fabric left to make a neck strap, but not enough for the waist straps. So I used some cotton belting for them. For the hem/edges, I used some old rayon seam binding that I had never tried before. THIS tutorial taught me how to use it. I really liked it...it gave a nice, crisp and smooth finish to it. I'll certainly be using it some more to finish hems.
Here is a close-up of how the edges look on the back:
 What I would change when I make another?
-  make smaller pockets
- don't line the pockets

Overall though, I think it turned out okay. And I have my first finish done of the New Year on a Friday, which is what I'm going to aim for each week.

Thanks for dropping by and happy stitching!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Final Countdown Challenge - Task Three

The last challenge Shelly has for us, you can read about HERE on Prairie Moon Quilts. It is to:

Get out of your quilt box!

Learn a new technique.
This shouldn't be particularly hard to do, but just something I haven't done with any of my quilts yet...that is to tie them with yarn instead of machine quilting. I recently came across a large bag of polyester quilt batting that we had stored in the attic. I think it will be hard to use it in machine quilting as it's very puffy, but tying should be fine. It would be a great way to finish up some of my UFO's, so the quilts can be actually used and not in a box half done!

Use a different color palette than you usually do.
 I'll have to think on this one some more. I do have a few UFO's that are not my usual color choices, but I'll have to think about what new project/fabrics I could try.

Take the leap. Challenge yourself.
It's not quilting related, but it is sewing. I have the patterns and supplies to make Waldorf style dolls. I would dearly love to make them for my daughter before she's too old and not interested in them. They are made with wool stuffing, knit fabric, and wool yarn and are constructed in a particular way. So I'll challenge myself to just get them done this year!

Join in on something you haven't before.
I'm still researching this one. Maybe a block-a-month group or a quilt-along?

And just because I like posts to have pics, here is one of a beautiful bird that stopped by my yard awhile ago. We think it is a young Northern Goshawk,

Thanks for stopping by and happy stitching!

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Final Countdown Challenge - Task Two

First of all, Happy New Year everyone!

This next task of Shelly's was a good one to do. Again, Shelly wrote a great post about it, that I'm sure to refer to often. You can find it HERE. The task is to:

Organize ALL our UFO's.

So I went through mine and they are now all stacked like this by my machine, to remind me to get them done!
I broke my list down, like Shelly mentioned that she does, into columns. I discovered that out of 23 total UFO's, 12 just need to be quilted and the remaining 11 projects are still in progress.
I went through each one, and I feel that I do want to complete them all. So what is holding me up, especially for the 12 projects that just need quilting and binding done?...
It's the quilting aspect and deciding what batting to use. And the backing...should it be cotton, flannel or fleece? I tend to ponder these questions too much, and then put it aside and move onto something else. It's time to change that.
So in the coming weeks, I'll aim to finish up those 12 UFO's that are almost done...maybe even post a finish each Friday? Now that would be great!

And Shelly also mentioned about having a wish list of things you'd like to make. This is a great idea!
Since I've got enough quilts on the go, I'd really like to make more things for my daughter while she's young. They include Oliver & S dresses and Waldorf dolls.

So here's to hoping for a productive sewing year! I'm really looking forward to it. Hope you all are too!
Happy Stitching in 2016!