A Water Bottle Cozy

I need a water bottle cozy.  No ifs, ands, or buts about this one.  I know we are all encouraged to stay hydrated and use a water bottle but when I drink water my preference is for cold water.  Like cold with ice!  This can be a challenge when you’re using a water bottle.  I’ve tried partially freezing the water bottles.  This is successful but ultimately hard on the water bottles.  They bulge, they crack and leak..oops and they can melt too slowly or too quickly depending on the weather or the activity and the amount of frozen water.  I’ve tried partially freezing, tipping them on the side and freezing and even filling them halfway and freezing.  It really is an ok process but does seem to shorten the life of the water bottle.  I also don’t like it when they start to bulge on the bottom and then rock when they are set on a flat surface.  My solution has been to fill the water bottle with ice cubes.  The result of ice cubes and also of freezing is condensation.  The condensation can be a mess. You get water marks on tables on clothes and if you’re outside, you can even make mud!  I’ve tried various solutions.  Here again, all successful to a degree but not perfect.  The first one I tried was a sweat band like you would wear at the gym.  Sweat bands are functional but are not really good-looking so that is a solution but not my preferred one.  The next option I tried was a water bottle case.  I have one that is neoprene and looks like this one. That’s ok and is a nice color but when it’s sitting on a desk or traveling in the car it’s bulky and it doesn’t fit in the drink holder. I also have one that is similar to this one. Same things here.  It has a nice pattern but will not fit in the cup holder in my car. These are actually both good solutions for my straight sided water bottles.  My current favorite however is a stainless steel flip top bottle that is not straight sided.  It has an hourglass shape and it really doesn’t work well in any of the holders.  After a visit to Starbucks it occurred to me that I needed to make a wrap type cozy for my water bottle and I could start with the shape like they use for the cardboard wrappers for the coffee cups.  After several trials with paper patterns I finally decided to make a test one and see how it works.  It’s not really the shape I thought I would need but works surprisingly well.  I also used velcro for a closure but this helped accommodate the hourglass middle.  I was able to use a more curved shape to my pattern because I realized that the place I really needed the wrap was near the bottom of the bottle.  I’ve used this for several days now and am pleased with the result.  I love the colors. I just strip pieced some fabric leftovers until it was larger than my pattern piece and put a layer of warm and natural batting in the middle to soak up the condensation. It still fits in the cup holder in my car and doesn’t seem to leave any condensation around the bottom to make a mess.  This water bottle cozy will be useful for a long time.

water bottle cozy

water bottle cozy2

Just a little thank you.

Just a little thank you seems appropriate when someone does something nice for you.  Recently my sister-in-law referred me some business.  Now I really appreciate that and wanted to thank her.  It didn’t seem right to just give her a gift card.  She probably would like that but she is a little more down to earth and I think would really appreciate something that I made.  I’ve struggled with this for  a while now.  What color, what kind of fabric, what project.  I’ve gone over the list so many times.  Along with my “just do it” theme for the year I finally just pulled some fabrics and decided this would be fine.  I cut and sewed and made a cute little zippered pouch that I think she will like.  I think it turned out very nicely.  She is a gardener and she loves purple so this fabric was a good marriage of both. I’m also including a photo of the inside before I put them together because I knew it would hard to snap a picture when it was finished.  So here it is.  Lovely I think.

Vintage Zip Pouch

When I get the urge to sit and sew I often wish that I had things cut out so I could just “sit and sew”.  it’s frustrating when you want to just sit at the machine and  have to make a decision on what to sew and the fabric choice.  Now really it’s about making a decision and some days it’s just too much trouble.

I came across this piece of linen that had a vintage print on it and it had already been lined with fleece.  It was also a rectangle.  On the spot I decided it was time to make a zip pouch.  I have experimented with zipper installations.  I want to know what goes the fastest and still looks good.  I found some fabric for lining, cut a square of the same size, did a bit of quilting so the two were stuck together and made a zip pouch.  It’s cute and I do love the fabric but am not entirely happy with the zipper.  It looks ok and works fine but I like them better when they are a little more finished looking.  That will be my afternoon project today.  For now however, this will go in the pile of things until I need a gift of have a need for a pouch of this size.

vintage style zip pouch

 

 

My keys, my keys..

My keys my keys. I don’t like to lose my keys!  I’m usually – that’s 99% of the time certain where I put my keys.  I do not ever allow time to search for them because I’m so consistent in the place they live.  There has been a time or two that they have been misplaced but it’s rare.  Well now I have one more key to keep track of.  It will need to be in my purse because it’s to a new door that will be part of my regular schedule for a while.  The dilemma is how to keep track of the key.  I don’t want to put it on the key chain with my car key and my house key.  I will not use the key more than a couple of times a week and it looks identical to my house key.  I didn’t want to add the weight of a big key ring or a bulky key chain to my purse because it feels like I carry around more than I need anyway.  The solution is a lanyard.  I have eyed these for a while and been anxious to make some more.  I think they would be a good sale item as well and they are fast and fun to make.  Well as fast as anything is that you have to cut and sew.  I interfaced it so there is a bit of substance to it yet it is light and flexible and should be easy to find in my purse.  It also is big enough that it will be easy to keep track of.  All these are important criteria in my world.   Problem solved and now it’s off to read for a bit before bed.

Cleaning up

Today I’ve decided that it’s time to start cleaning up the mess. There are piles and boxes of fabric all over the place and it’s starting to bother me. I still have some other work should do but soon this will be done and I can start organizing and doing some spring cleaning. My biggest challenge is logistics.  What is the best way to stack the fabric and store the supplies so that I can get to them easily.  I would like to have the fabric visible.  Right now it’s in several different boxes and stacks and I can’t always easily find the piece I’m looking for.  The other problem is forgetting what I have and accumulating more. In this year of intention I’m trying to use what I have before I buy anything else.  I’ve been thinking about this for several months and today I realized I have a possible solution.  I can move an unused desk that is now covered with clutter.  In the space where the desk is I can move in some shelves from the garage. This set of shelves is of the wire variety and is on wheels.  It has four shelves that will be perfect for my needs.  I can keep the large pieces of batting and fleece on either the bottom or the top, stack some clear boxes of works in progress on a shelf and still have room to create stacks of fabrics.  These pieces are all less than one yard and when stacked don’t take up much room.  I think I’ll sell the desk that’s in the corner although it may get moved to the garage for storage until I know that it really is an extra that I don’t need. Time to stop thinking and start cleaning up!
wire shelves

A new sewing tool.

It’s always exciting to find a new sewing  tool. One of my recent discoveries is a new marking pen.  When I’m sewing projects there are always things to mark.  Sometimes it’s a cutting line.  Sometimes it’s a place to join another piece of fabric.  There are times that it’s necessary to mark the front or the back.  There are various ways to mark any of these things.  Sometimes it’s appropriate to make a notch in the fabric.  There are times I’ve used tailor tacks.  You can use marking chalk’s or marking pens.  There are several different types of marking pens including water-soluble or air soluble.  I’ve also used  marking wheels and tracing paper.  Another method of marking is actually stitching him a line without any thread.  This can be handy as a guide to turn a hem.  You can also use an iron to make a press mark or simply finger press a fold. 

The current new sewing tool that I’m using for marking are pens made by Pilot. These Frixion Gel Pens are like magic.  You can mark with them on fabric and then simply press with a hot iron and the marks go away.  They are so fast and easy to use and the different colors make them easy to use on fabric.  It’s too bad my children are all grown up.  I’m sure they would’ve loved to use these pens to write secret messages.  I can imagine all the fun, they would’ve had when playing with their friends.  Hmm…  maybe this should be a little something extra they get for a birthday or Christmas

 

Baby Quilt finished!

I did it. The pink baby quilt is finished.  Like so many other projects when I got to the end I had trouble deciding on the binding.  I finally picked a dark pink with little black and white flowers and I’m pleased with my choice.  The darker pink frames the quilt nicely.  I used a pink and green polka dot flannel on the back so it’s really cozy. I’ve washed it so it’s nice and soft and ready to gift or sell.  Now on to the next project.

You’ve got mail!

I love it when the mailman brings something other than bills.  Today there were some things that I’ve ordered for upcoming projects.  I will not be talking about them for a while because it’s a secret and will not be revealed until July or August!  I hope I’ll be able to get them all done in time.

What was in the mail?  Sixty 10″ zippers and 24 swivel clips.  Oh, I’m anxious to get started!  It will take a while but it will be fun.  I’ve also purchased 3 yards of interfacing and 3 yards of warm and natural batting.  Of course there are some assorted accessories as well like thread.  Oh and fabric?  Well yes there is fabric as well.  I have many jelly rolls of fabric for this project.  For those of you that don’t know about jelly rolls, we are talking about a roll of fabric strips that are 2.5 inches wide and include 42 strips of fabric.  This provides lots of variety.  Fun, fun, fun!

It’s a bib!

When my kids were little I did love to have a bib handy.  When they were little it was drool, when they were bigger it was food and good messes.

I found a pattern for a little bib that looks like it’s comparable size the new onsie and pants that I just finished.  I  used a small piece of flannel and a small piece of terry cloth.  My original thought was to use an applique on the bib to coordinate with the onsie but I cut the applique too big and it didn’t look right.  In the end I just added a little pocket at the bottom, used a package of bias tape that I had and was able to add this cute little bib to the stack.  I’m pleased with the result and can see doing this again.