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.

Tropical Warmth

These are the tropical colors I love: the greens of palm trees and grass and leaves and the gorgeous blue of the sea and sky. This is a quilt made with those colors and some easy 4-patches.DSC00468

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It’s all done now. Cathy quilted it… I picked a large shell-like patter and blue thread. She did a great job, even centered the pattern in the middle row where it is very visible. This quilt was made from a kit but I changed out one of the fabrics for more interest.DSC00508

The quilt is a housewarming gift for mom when she moves to Florida in October. I showed it to her this weekend (such a tease) and she loves it. Took it back from her though so I can show off to all my quilty friends. Then I’ll ship it to her in October. Such a good daughter. :-)

Hawaii Palm Trees 2007

Hawaii Palm Trees 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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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Mini version of the silk quilt

If you don’t remember the antique silk quilt I wrote about last winter, here’s where you can refresh your memory. There are several posts about my research if you look around a bit. (there, here, and more) I made the pineapple block out of cotton not silk and as close to the fabric patterns as Lucretia’s as I could find. I used one of her blocks as a model. It took 4 hours to make one block with paper piecing and my machine so imagine how long it took her to make one of her blocks by hand on a muslin foundation. After I got one block done I decided to try my hand at a few more and then on I moved to the borders.

When people see the silk quilt they want to touch it which is a no-no because the fabric is damaged and falling apart. Little silk pieces fall like dried leaves whenever I open it. Especially the pink. So I thought I would make a model of the quilt so people could touch it and see it up close. A mini, if you will.DSC00496

As I was adding the checkerboard border I was thinking, ‘what have I done?? this thing is wild!’ But then I added the dark brown border and it seemed to settle down. The brown stopped the insanity. All of the sizes of the pieces are mostly the same as Lucretia’s quilt. I even saw that she had the same red and gray 4-patch in each corner.DSC00497

 

 

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I made the back like her’s with the brown and a purple frame. She quilted in the ditch by hand, not me. Mine’s by machine. She used a brown thread. I used brown in the bobbin and cream on top. She basted hers before quilting, I used pins.DSC00500

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She did not have batting in between and I used a soft cotton/poly blend. Hers had enough body with the muslin foundation. Lucretia’s binding was the back brought to the front. I haven’t done that before but did it here. It’s a very narrow binding and I used small applique-like stitches. After all it will be seen and ‘critiqued’.DSC00502

This was a fun project! I haven’t formulated plans for what I will do with it and it’s older big sister. Still thinking about it.

 

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!!

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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!

 

February Redacted

I am so glad Feb is over!!

First there was L’s pneumonia, who could forget that! I sucked the most goo out of that kid. Luckily she was over it pretty quick. Then I got a cold which I haven’t had in a long time. Guess I should socialize more often. Can’t get a cold from facebook. And who could forget the damn blizzard? It took me 3 days to clear the driveway and find the front door. And then there was more snow. L’s been to or I’ve called the doc too many times that month. What about my flat tire?? That deserves a curse mention. There was also the guild UFO auction that I’ve been working on since Dec. My buds worked on it with me and we had a successful event. Thank goodness there was no precipitation that day. It was very strenuous hauling 9 large boxes of treasures from the back door to the front, up a hill, in the snow, (on a sled). Going in to March is proving a trial but that’s for another day. Through it all, I plugged away at the sewing machine.

Here is the finished top of the Scrappy Trip Around the World that I made with my left-overs. You’ll remember I gushed about that in a prior post.DSC00400

I like how it turned out. (48″ x 60″) I can’t believe that this scrap quilt created more freekin scraps! A few went back into the scrap pile and the rest will be on the back of the quilt when I get around to creating that masterpiece.

Finally I finished the tote I’ve been wanting to make. Never got the package from C.T. (remember my smartpost rant?) so I got my money back asked for my money back and went real life shopping instead of internet voodoo. This is my birthday present to me (someday in March).DSC00396

Its from a pattern called Bow Tucks Tote. Plenty big, plenty o pockets.DSC00399

I can untie the bows and make it bigger. Plenty o shopping in my future! There is my triple zip ouch inside all matchy-matchy. I think I need a matching glasses case and tissue pouch… and I have 4 new skirts for L all cut out waiting for attention. At least I gave the right address to Joann’s online, they didn’t use smartpost, and I got the fabric lickety split.

 

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.

 

It’s Left-over Night!

I used to like left-over night when I was young. Mom would heat up everything left over from a few days of meals and we could *usually* each have something we liked especially or a little of everything. As a grown-up, 5 out of 7 nights are now reserved for left-overs in my house. :-) Mostly micro-cooking for me.

In my quilt world left-overs are saved for years. I don’t think of them as fabric scraps… scraps go in the trash. Left-overs will again bring color and sparkle to a quilt or other fabric project some day. I have accumulated a multitude of these pieces. I organized them in early January so that I could really see what I have and maybe used them more often. (instead of being in an overflowing large box on the floor). This is what it looks like now (and it takes up vertical space, which is better).

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The 5 boxes on the left are the batik pieces and the 6 boxes in the middle are the rest of the cottons. Specific colors are in each box. I’m sorry to say that the piles on the cabinet are the in-progress projects. I apparently like to start things and not finish them, ahem.

I started a new project with my scraps!!! I mean, I’m turning my left-overs into a new quilt!! I’ve been seeing lots of mention in blogland and by facebookers about the Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt. It looked very interesting and involved NO outlay of cash on my part to start it. The instructions are here. Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville makes it easy. She says to pick from all your scraps, anything goes. I wanted to use my blues cuz I have mostly them, and green goes great, and then there’s purple. And how ’bout some pink for sparkle. Another of my ‘design’ elements was a dark color that would go diagonally through the center, lending a strong criss-cross to the quilt. Some of my pieces didn’t qualify for this project because they were too small and couldn’t convert into  a strip easily.DSC00377

I had no problem tho, coming up with sufficient material and it still looks pretty full in the blue box. Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy, there’s a block or four.DSC00379

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I made another 2 after taking these pix. Fun! I am shooting for at least 12 blocks. I’ll see what it looks like when I get that far. What do you think??