More Sewing and More Planning

fleece and stretch hat

There’s always more sewing and more planning. I wake up in every morning thinking about the projects that I’m working on and the projects that I want to work on and all the future projects.  I wish there were more hours in the days to do all the things my head imagines. 🙂

Until then however I continue to sew what I have time for. Right now I’m working on finishing one of the first quilts that I started working on in 2012. This was before life got in the way with health issues for my daughters, and my husband and my mother’s passing. Of course there is work, home and friends as well. Some days I spend more time on the computer thinking about what I want to do instead of doing the things that I should, could and  must. A tale for many of us I think.

For now however, there was Christmas sewing and some baby gifts as well as a new quilt along. The one from last year will be finished soon along with the one from 2012 and I’ll continue to work on these this year.

I’m trying some new and different baby gits. I’ve made baby hats, teething toys and bibs.  I love the baby gifts because they’re fast, colorful and usually appreciated.  I can also try out new things, gift them and use some of my fabric stash as well. All good things in my book.

Here are some of the hats.

flowered hat

 

 

 

 

girl hatsfleece and stretch hat

A Quilted Banner

Maple Leaf Banner

I had fun making this quilted banner for a friend who owns a property management company. Several years ago she had a new logo designed for her rapidly growing company. Ever since I saw it I kept thinking how much fun it would be to make a banner that combined the maple leaf theme with the new logo. This year she celebrated a significant birthday and I knew this would be the perfect occasion.

I had the logo printed at Spoonflower which is a company that will do custom printing. It did take longer than I thought to get it back. Nearly three weeks so if I do this again I’ll plan better for that. I had some Accuquilt dies in different sizes to cut the maple leaves. Again, I’ve planned this for a couple of years so had already purchased the dies.

I really didn’t know until I started what I was going to do. I was not certain what  size the logo would end up and knew that I needed to see it before I could plan the rest. I ended up starting and then letting it sit for a few days until I knew how and I was going to proceed. I used a big 161/2 inch ruler to cut the logo, added the borders and then had an assortment of leaves cut and kept moving things around until I got what I liked. I’m glad that I didn’t rush and took pictures along the way because I did change my mind about what I was going to do.  The biggest change was in the colored border. Originally I had planned to use a rust/orange but when I took a picture and put in on my computer I realized I didn’t like it and the yellow looked much better.

In the end, I was pleased with the result and even put a pocket hanging corners on the back as well as a label with birthday wishes and my name. I rarely label my quilts so this was a first.

New Year and New Projects

paper piece SantaWell, it’s a new year and I’m on to new projects.  I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted updates and although the intention is good, somehow I don’t seem to update as often as I would like. I’m just going to start small with one of the fun projects that I did for the holidays. These paper pieced Santa’s were my holiday ornaments this year. I had so much fun doing them that I was sad to think I can’t do them and give them again next year. So I’m on the hunt. I still have a couple of months to think about it.

The Potholder Project

potholder project

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. 

More Bags

zip pouch

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.

Cork Leather
cork leather

 

 

 

 

This is the first experiment that I made for myself. A glasses case with a pinch type opening.

glasses case

 

 

 

 

 

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.

zip pouch with cork leather

 

 

 

soup 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?

zip pouch

 

Thank You Gifts for a Girl Scout Event

Girl Scout Thanks youI 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.

in progress

Thank you Girl Scout friends.

Babies and oops

Starfish Alley

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.

Starfish AlleyI also made some drool bibs and a tag blanket as well as some pacifier clips.

Starfish Alley

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.

Starfish Alley

Fun times for all. Big sister got a book. I don’t want to forget anyone.

And Then There Were Bags

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.

Flex Frame Christmas

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.