Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Sending you best wishes this holiday season and looking forward to seeing you in 2009!

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's a Bird! It's a Plane? It's a..

zipper topped bird shaped pouch sewn from a felted vest (whew! that was a bit of a wordy description for the birdy pouch). ;o)

The fun part about the wool vest that I felted was that the front panels were patterned while the back of the vest was plain. That gave me the ability to mix and match the body and wing on each side of the pouch. I machine stitched the wings in place and then used embroidery floss to blanket stitch around the wing for interest. This birdy pouch would be just the right size for carrying a few trinkets or even to be used as a pencil case.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Zig-Zag Quilt


with a matching pillow.

That's another gift made.
I have had some requests for information on the method I used to make the zig-zags using strips and I think the best way to avoid confusion is to do a tutorial. I'm not going to make any promises that I will get a tutorial blogged for you before Christmas as I have other projects needing my attention. I will do one though. It's now on my to-do list. ;o)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Start Small

I've been wanting to try zig zag patchwork using strips for soooooo long . So, here is my first attempt. I finally decided that if I try a small project I could not only gratify my want, but have a chance to see if my idea would work without worrying about a possible large scale "test project" disaster...

It's ready to be machine quilted but I couldn't wait until after finishing it to show you.
I am glad I started with a small project for this kind of patchwork. I did learn some lessons along the way. Happily, I can honestly say I am not done zig-zagging! Stay tuned....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Change the fabric ...

and you change the look of this simple bag. I thought this fabric combination looked more "wintrier" than the obvious spring look I had with my previous versions.
The two other changes to my bag design included self made piping and pull tabs at each end of the zipper placket. I think the only detail left to finish on this present, is to make a decorative tie for the zipper pull.

There is so much potential to play with details on this design - but this time I wanted to feature the fabric of this pretty fat quarter (don't you love projects that use a small amount of materials and give big results?). I know the recipent of this bag isn't a blog follower, so I decided I was safe in sharing this project with you. ;o)
Hope you're all making good progress with your handmade gift lists! Happy crafting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How to Sew a Small Drawstring Pouch from 2 Squares

In a previous post I showed what you could make from 2 squares of fabric. Just in case you want to know how, here's the tutorial so you can make your own.

1. Cut two squares of contrasting fabric. For this pouch I cut my squares 9.75"

2. Place squares right sides together and sew around them, using 1/4" seams and be sure to leave an opening along one side for turning after stitching.*Clip all four corners so that you will have crisp corner points when turned right side out*

3. Turn right side out. I use a chopstick to help push the fabric in the corners to crisp points. Press. Hand stitch the opening you made for turning.

4. Mark the centers on all four sides with the fabric you want as the outside of the pouch facing up.

5. Measure out 3/4" from the centers (the dark headed pins in my sample) and mark with disappearing ink or with a pin as I did. Be sure to mark out 3/4" on both sides of your center pins.

Here's the close up of step #5...

6. Fold the corners in using the marks you made 3/4" from the centers; as shown below. Pin down each of the four corners this way.

This close up shows how I have the corners folded at a right angle with the pins guiding me.

This is what your fabric should look like after all the corners have been pinned down.

7. Now you will measure and stitch 1/2" in from the folded edge you've made from turning the corners down. Be sure to back stitch at the start and end of this seam as this is to be the casing for your drawstring.

This shows the squares after all four casings have been stitched for the drawstrings.

8. Next step is to fold the point of the corner up towards the casing seam line. Hand stitch the point in place. ***Do not sew your stitches into the casing***

After all four points have been tacked folded up towards the casing, your pouch should look like this:

9. Now you need to thread two pieces of ribbon through the casing. I cut my ribbon extra long at 35" each. Be sure to thread each ribbon through all four of the casings so it completes a "circle". Notice how you start each ribbon directly across from the other as shown below.

10. Fill the pouch with treasures (jewelry? sewing notions? candy? or whatever else you can think of!) and pull the ribbons tight to secure it.

Have fun making these a bit bigger or smaller if you wish. These make up so quick that making several would be a breeze. Make some for gift giving, but be sure to make at least one for yourself!
Happy sewing!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter white is here!

Here's the view I had today from one of the windows in my sewing space. My picture doesn't do it justice. The trees look magical and I'm enjoying the tranquil view of them.
I have several projects on the go and have nothing finished to share at the moment. One project that's been in the works for a little while is my Bento Box quilt. I thought I'd try making a pieced back for it using only fabric that I have in my stash. This is what I came up with. I love that Robert Kaufman print (I wish I'd had enough to make the whole back from it...).

After much deliberating, I decided not to use it as the backing. So off to the stash for something different. I've dug out a vintagey print that I had passed on to me from my mother in law. She bought yards and yards of it back in the 70's when she started to make a king size quilt in rusts and browns. Anyways, I think the retro fabric will work better for the backing.
I now have my quilt top basted and awaiting to be machine quilted as you can see from all the pins in the picture below.

Now if I can just decide how I will quilt this and what to use for the binding... I can get this quilt off my to-do list.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just a glimpse

of projects I have on the go at the moment. I'd show you more but they're gifts and I don't want to completely spoil the surprise.

That's the trick with sewing at this time of the year, isn't it? You might be making lots, but you can't share it unless you know the recipient doesn't read your blog. ;o)

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