Sunday, December 27, 2015

And they tell their friends...

Earlier this year, or maybe last year - I can't remember anymore and I haven't bothered to look back through my old posts to see - I started making these cute little fabric wallets from a free and very well written tutorial here:

If that link looks as ugly to you on your screen as it does to me, then google Sew 4 Home fabric wallet and you should come up with it. Actually, the Sew 4 Home has lots of fabulous free patterns and you may get lost there for a very long time. I've found lots of great patterns there - more than I'll ever get around to making.

So, this summer a friend of a friend of a friend asked me to make a couple for her out of some of her favourite fabric. When she said "Laurel Burch" I couldn't resist because I have such a weakness for her beautiful colours and designs. She had seen some of these wallets that I'd made for others and asked me to make two for her. How could I say no? I had to see her fabric!

It was beautiful. It wasn't all Laurel Burch, but it went together very nicely. I added a little bit of my own stash where I thought it would fit in. Please forgive the wonky pictures - I must have been in a hurry! I think she liked them.

Until next time,

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Tick tock

I have a bit of spare time – and the sense that I ought to post before the year is done. My job seems to have gotten the better of me this year – my job and my extra-curricular activities like sewing and music and gardening.

But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been sewing, because I have. I just haven’t been blogging! I tried yesterday for the first time in forever and Google nicely informed me that there was suspicious activity on my account! I say let’s keep them on their toes! And my Windows Live Writer no longer works, so I’m trying to figure out Blogger and it’s going to look ugly in the meantime.

I haven’t been sewing as much as I want to, but I have finished a few things – all bags. One of these days I’ll get back to quilts. But right now, everyone wants a bag. Bingo bags, clutches, totes.

No one asked for this bag. It’s the first bag I’ve made without a pattern. There are lots of improvements to be made to this, but overall I was tickled with how it turned out. As you can see by the background, the pictures were taken during warmer times. This is all scrappy material that was given to me, but I still like it. Zipper inside it, along with a floppy pocket.

Eventually it will lead to something better. When I have time.

Until next time,

Friday, April 17, 2015


15Apr14five I haven’t played bingo since I was a kid, but it’s a popular game among adults in a lot of places I’ve lived, including the town where I am now. Last summer a lady I know stopped at my table at the Farmers Market to look at my Halloween bags and asked if I could make some modifications to accommodate her bingo needs – as in outside pockets to put her dabbers (markers) in.

Never says never. I said I’d give it a shot and she was happy with the outcome. Another lady saw her bingo bag and wanted one, so I made one for her as well. She told me that others were interested and she asked me to make a bunch and she’d sell them for me at the local bingos.

15Apr15three3 All righty. I figured if they didn’t sell there, I would put them on the table with my other bags at this summer’s Farmers Market. Well, she sold all five that I made for her… and asked for more! Good grief! I’d put away all of my bingo bag instructions and was getting ready to move on to the next project… But I guess I’ll be making a few more bingo bags first.

15Apr15two If I change something in the instructions – and I always do – I write it down or else I’ll forget how I did it. I write it in pencil because, as I did with these bags, I’m constantly tweaking. I started out making the outside pockets about an inch and a half from the bottom, but that made them sag. So now I place them so they will sit flush with the bottom of the bag. Makes it a bit harder to cut the corners because it’s so bulky, but it sure looks better.

15Apr15strap And the last bag I made had a cowboy theme, so I put some bling on it – star-shaped studs – and did some fancy stitching on the handles. (Look for more of this on future bingo bags!) Those stars look rather nice, I think, but sheesh, they were a pain!!! to sew around. I was using my walking foot, but I couldn’t stitch a straight line along the stars. The foot kept veering off to the side. I unstitched and redid it three times before I finally gave up. I used my narrow zipper foot to stitch straight lines down the sides of the handles, and it worked just fine.

Right now I’m dividing my free time between sewing and gardening. My greenhouse is full of tomato and pepper plants that need to be repotted because they’re outgrowing their plug trays. I’ll be doing that this weekend, in between making some more bingo bags.

Until next time,

Friday, March 13, 2015

Where did February go?

15March13cats The real reason I haven’t done a lot of sewing lately.

That’s not true, but Rusty gets blamed for everything. He doesn’t seem to mind. I was mending the holy pockets in my winter coat yesterday and he plopped himself down on my coat and went to sleep.

Don’t you hate it when your keys go missing and you locate them in the lining of your coat? Or your cell phone starts ringing and you have to take your coat off and practically turn it inside out to get your phone back? Hopefully my mending will stop that from happening again.

15March13bags Actually, I’ve been getting a lot of sewing done.It’s just been taking me 10 times longer than it normally does because I’ve been having non-stop problems with the tension. I’ve been spending more time taking stitches out than I have putting them in. I spent hours slowly turning the tension dial back and forth, I changed needles, thread, etc.Once I changed a bobbin and it cleared up for a little while – until I had to take the bobbin out to refill it. I put it back into the machine and all of the problems were back.

Just in the past two weeks they’ve disappeared again and everything is working better than it has since I busted my needle plate about this time last year. That’s when the tension problems started. Maybe the planets have realigned and harmony has replaced tension in the sewing room!

15March13handles I just finished these three bags. I started four of them just over a year ago, cutting all of the fabric I needed to make them. In fact, it was the first of these bags that I was working on when the needle mechanism came down on the needle plate like a jackhammer. I was stitching the canvas handles at the time. Even after I replaced the needle plate, I was hesitant to try it all again, which is one reason why it’s taken me so long to finish these. I just have to stitch up the lining opening and I’m done. They’re a nice and roomy heavy duty tote bag. We’ll see if I can sell them when our farmers market starts up again in May.

Until next time,

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Snow Angel

15Jan3angel Don’t get excited. Just because I’ve blogged three days in a row doesn’t mean it’s going to go on for much longer. Today was a Snow Day and we all know that Snow Days are best spent sewing! And did we ever get snow. Actually, we got it yesterday. The skies opened up around lunch time and dumped about 4 inches of snow in a couple of hours. Today strong winds all day blew it all around, making it seem like another Snow Day.

I finished off this gal from The Buggy Barn’s Angels Among Us. It used to be a free pattern at the Henry Glass website, but it was taken down a while back and I haven’t seen it since. I grabbed a copy of it while it was there. This is a paper pieced pattern. There is another Buggy Barn pattern by the same name, but it is totally different. Anyway, I think I’ll be making more15Jan3house of these blocks for late  Christmas presents. It’s great to get an unexpected post-Christmas present, isn’t it?

Since I was more or less stuck in the house (if you don’t count shovelling out the 12-inch snow drifts in the driveway and visiting my next door neighbour), I also made this “Simple House” 6-inch block from Forest Quilting site. They have some really nice 15Jan3zion free paper piecing patterns. I’ve already shown you the stars. It’s all part of a bigger plan.

I admit, freshly falling snow can be beautiful. I just object to having to drive in it and since I live in one town and work in another, I have to drive through a lot of snow. You get over it or you move to Mexico. Here’s a picture I took yesterday after it started snowing. Hope everyone is staying warm and dry tonight.

Until next time,

Friday, January 2, 2015

Friday Furrball – Christmas prezzies

15Jan2Rusty While I was at my sewing machine yesterday, I picked up an old scrap off the floor that the cats had been batting around. I sewed it into a bag, stuffed it with catnip that I went out to the garden to get, sewed it shut and voila! Instant gratification. Of course, Rusty took it right away. I had to make another one for Ginger. Rusty took that one, too. We finally got it sorted out.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

The start of something small

15Jan1stars It really is 2015. I had to create new photo files today before I could store some pictures. I use the year as a sub-folder for several different categories – for example, in the folder Quilt, I have 2010, 2011… and now I have 2015.

And these three-inch stars are my first quilt photo – and project of 2015. They are from a free paper piecing block at Forest Quilting called Crooked Star, and they are going to be part of a small wall hanging that I’m making as a Christmas present.

Yeah, Christmas 2014. I didn’t get anything done last year, and all of my friends basically got “IOU’s” for their presents. Many people I know just weren’t in the mood this year for Christmas – including me.

Actually, I did get one present made, a few weeks ago. I just haven’t mailed it yet.

 15Jan1kittens I’m hoping for a much more productive year for quilts and bags this year. Just have to quit letting work crowd out everything else. January means new Quiltalongs, and there are at least a couple I’d like to join. I’ll let you know about them in a few weeks if I decide to join them.

This is one of my favourite photos of Rusty and Ginger, taken this day in 2910, just a few days after they came to live with us. Adorable. Moreso in those days than they are now.

Until next time,