Although I love to give and receive cards, it feels so wasteful when you throw them in the trash. This year I decided that instead of cards, I would give my friends potholders when there was a card worthy occasion. There have been exceptions of course but for the most part I’ve purchased very few greeting cards. Instead I’ve used my 8″ cube and 8 1/2″ die for backs and insulbrite and batting and I made potholders. I did also use the kite die for several as well. It’s been fun to do, well received and I’ve used lots of those very fun kitchen fabrics that I’ve collected. A win win for sure.
Well, it’s no secret that I like to make all kinds of bags.
The other thing I like to do is to experiment with different techniques and fabrics.
The most recent experiment has been with cork leather. This is a leather type fabric made out of cork. Cork leather is vegan and eco-friendly. It it made from cork that has been left to dry for 6 months after harvest and then boiled, steamed and pressed into blocks for slicing. It’s very lightweight and water resistant. There are a number of suppliers on the web as well as Etsy and Ebay. I found an offer on Massdrop and decided this was the time to try it out. It comes in a sheet and was shipped in a tube. I have the remaining piece rolled up and stored on a shelf.
it was fun to sew with. It’s very much like other fabrics. I did use a walking foot but I’m not sure that would really be necessary. One thing that I didn’t think about was if I used it at the bottom of a bag, it is bulkier and not as easy to turn the bag right side out of to push the corners out. The little glasses case was more difficult that the zipper pouch due to the smaller design.
This is the first experiment that I made for myself. A glasses case with a pinch type opening.
This was my second try. A graduation gift for a my cousins daughter. Their last name is Campbell so that’s why I used Campbell soup fabric for the inside.
The last was for the son’s fiance. I think she was surprised and pleased. It’s too bad I forgot to take a picture of the inside because she really loved that. It was fabric with little lobsters on it.
Can’t everyone can use a zip pouch of two?
Well, in the life of sewing and crafts there’s always a project that doesn’t turn out quite the way you would expect. That’s what happened with this potholder. Now potholders are pretty forgiving which is good. I always can use another potholder and this one is destined to live in my kitchen rather than be given away. I loved the fabric. It was cute with a vintage feel. And I love the text fabric as well. Putting them together in this block was not so good. The print was too busy for this block pattern and the text print was too busy to go with this fabric as well. Both prints are the same scale so there is not enough contrast. The colors were fine but ugh..
The positives however were that I can always use another potholder and I got to practice making a new to me block. I also got to practice finishing the potholder. I struggle with the hand sewing to close the side where I turned it so every time I practice it gets better. There will be better choices next time and I did use up some more fabric.
I keep thinking I’m going to do an update or two but time seems to pass and then I think, where did the time go?
So this will be several short updates so I can get caught up. I hope all the hubby surgery illness is done for a while and then I will have a bit more time.
One of the things that I have worked on is a weekly block quilt along with Beaquilter. Each Monday morning for 48 weeks she is posting the instructions for one block that will be finished as a sampler quilt.
Here are the first 29 blocks that I’ve done.
The fabric is from the first fat quarter bundle that I have ever purchased. For those of you that don’t know what a fat quarter bundle is, it’s a group of fabrics usually from one designer or collection that all goes together. I didn’t end up using this bundle for what I thought I was going to but wanted to use it up so here it is. I’m not sure this would have been my first choice for color or pattern but I don’t mind it and I know it will be fine when I’m all done.
It’s been a fun experience for me. Although I’ve done a lot of sewing over many years, I’ve never really quilted much. I’m enjoying the challenge and learning new things including accuracy and trying to put all those pieces together in the right order without getting confused and then ending up with the correct size block.
One of the things this has led to of course is fabric acquisition. Hmm like someone said, I can buy fabric faster than I can quilt. Oh well, it’s really nice to have options when I’m home sewing in the evening, need a quick gift, or just want to sew to “make” something. There seems to be always someone to give things to.
I guess I’ll stop here for now. I think if I plan just several short posts for a while, I’ll get caught up with all the things that I’ve made. Not so many quilts but lots of little things.
I made some thank you gifts for a Girl Scout event. I do love to make handmade gifts. I’m not sure they are always appreciated but I’ve made peace with the fact that not every gift is a hit whether it’s handmade or store purchased.
This event was a volunteer retreat and most of the people attending and volunteering to help have been Girl Scout members for many years. I’ve had some vintage Girl Scout fabric in my stash for several years and I decided it was time to use it to thank these special people. I made little flex frame pouches and fussy cut the fabric to frame the parts of the fabric that I wanted to use. Due to the printing on the fabric they all turned out a bit differently. I thought they turned out very well and were cute. I hope the recipients find them useful. It seems like I can always use a pouch or container for the little things like chapstick, change or even a charging cable.
Thank you Girl Scout friends.
Well the last post I did about babies and the latest baby gift was hacked. Apparently I didn’t get the update applied in time and the post was deleted except for one picture. I do want a record of the things I’ve made on this blog so I can have a reference so I’m going to repost some of the pictures and text.
This is the quilt I’ve made for this new little boy. He’s arrived last week and his name is Parker. Such a sweet looking little boy and I’m looking forward to holding him and smell that sweet little baby smell.
I didn’t want to forget little sister. I suspect this might be a challenge for her. She is only 20 months and her place in the family is going to feel threatened. She’s now the middle child. So here is a baby doll and a blanket just for her.
Fun times for all. Big sister got a book. I don’t want to forget anyone.
And then there were bags. This too was a Christmas theme. Bags are another way that I like to organize. This year is was bags for Santa gifts and bags for lunches. Oh yes, and bags for shoes.
Even though the kids are adults it’s still fun to indulge in Santa gifts. These are never extravagant but usually things I’ve picked up along the way that I know they will use. It usually includes a toothbrush and this year was a little flashlight and a few other odds and ends. In my continuing quest to use my fabric stash I decided that Santa bags this year were going to be fabric bags. I was also going to start using my favorite fabrics instead of the things that were just OK or would do the job.
I also madethe girlfriend a shoe bag and another travel/storage bag. She was pleased and I think they were used on a trip to Mexico.
Daughter number 1 wanted a new lunch bag. She had been using a shoe bag from a previous year but wanted one with handles. I made her a modified shoe bag with handles but also made a lunch bag and added some storage containers.
This was a flex frame Christmas. Or what I mean to say is I made lots of flex frame pouches this year for Christmas gifts. It’s really kind of addicting. Once I figured out a pattern it was hard for me to leave them alone.
When I was trying to decide what to make that would be fast, easy and fun I always start with zip pouches. The friends who have known me for a long time however have zip pouches. I do like to make them. I find them useful and it helps me feel organized.
This year I remembered seeing some flex frame tutorials and thought this might be fast and easy. I read a few tutorials that I found on the internet and then searched for flex frames. My friend Amazon of course had many sources for flex frames. My confusion was that they were all given in metric measurements. I used a converter tool to see what size they really were in inches and bought a package of 30. I knew that I would make several for Christmas and I had an event in January that I could use them for and then would still have a few left for future projects.
When I got the frames the first step was to create a pattern. The first one I decided was too deep. By the time I opened the pouch, it was hard to reach the bottom. The second time the channels for the frame were a little bit too long and wide. Once I had a pattern I cut and sewed several at one time. They were so cute it was hard to stop. I have about 6 more to make this week and then I think I’m done for a bit and ready to get back to finishing several more baby quilts that I’ve started and put aside.
Babies seem to be the theme here and this was a quilt for my niece. She had the first little boy in my brother’s family. Exciting times for sure!.
The daddy is involved in crew and repairing boats etc. so I really wanted to use some water themed fabric and I loved this Offshore line of fabric by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake The colors and the variety of prints really appealed. Of course there were a few other things I included for the new baby. I made some burp rags with appliques and also a tag blanket.