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.

Gifts

I was lucky enough to recieve some gifts from friends this summer too. A friend who I chat with many times a week but usually by email, found a pincushion pattern that she wanted to try out so I was the lucky winner on that one and one friend I had made a pincushion caddy for and in turn she created me a beautiful pair of hand knit socks.

It’s always such a treat to receive handmade gifts from friends. (Actually it’s a treat to receive any kind of gift. It always makes me feel special.) I love creating gifts for people and in turn I love to receive theStarfish Alleym as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This beautiful wool pincushion was created with love and care by my friend Gretchen.

I feel honored and blessed to be on the receiving end.
For my friend Terri, I made this pincushion caddy similar to one she had see on a website.

Starfish Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a thank you she gifted me with these hand knit socks. What a lucky gal I am!

Starfish Alley

 

 

Fall is in the air!

Fall is in the air here in Edmonds.  After an unusually warm summer it’s time to get into the fall routines. I’m working on that for sure.

I have done lots of odds and ends of sewing here but really haven’t had the inclination to post much. I’m looking forward however to some updates here and continue to make a record of my finishes.  I’ve got lots of plans for the fall so we’ll see how I do.

One of my finishes this summer has been a second baby quilt. This is for the friend of daughter #2 who is expecting her daughter #2. When I started this I really only expected to test the block idea and size but after I had finished several of the blocks I decided that I really like it and it would be perfect for this new baby. I did struggle with the binding for a bit but finally settled on this green stripe. At first after it was done I thought I had made a mistake because it’s so much bolder than I had anticipated but I do think I like it and it does go with the fabrics.

Starfish Alley

 

 

 

 

 

As I was searching for this picture I also found many others.

Another project from earlier in the summer was another pillowcase. This was also for a Girl Scout friend.

Starfish Alley

Graduation Time of Year

It’s graduation time of year again.  I don’t really have close to me relatives graduating this year but  do know two ladies that I want to recognize.  Graduation is a big accomplishment if it is high school or college.  The first lady is a high school graduate and like I’ve done many times over the last several years I’ve made a zip bag.  I love to make these and they are so handy to have around.  I have odds and ends in my purse, like Tylenol, eye drops etc. I have one for my cell phone, I have one for my Kindle and I have one for all of my charging cords.  The usefulness can go on and on. I hope this lady will like her zip pouch as she heads off to college and finds it useful for some of life’s odd and ends.

camera zip pouch

camera aip pouch2

The second lady is older and a college graduate.  She has put herself through school while working full-time and I have lots of admiration for her and her hard work.  She is also a Girl Scout volunteer and for many years has volunteered one week of her vacation at a summer overnight Girl Scout camp.  As I puzzled about how to recognize her I decided I could make her a pillowcase that was designed especially for camp. Her camp name relates to a small animal and there are many interesting small wildlife creatures at camp so I thought this was a fitting recognition and something that she will use, enjoy and it will not show any dirt.  At camp this is always a bonus even if you do sleep inside!.

Chipmunk pillowcase

So for this year, graduation sewing is done. Next on the agenda is a couple of aprons and at least two baby quilts.  One of those quilts has been pieced so now it’s just layering, quilting and binding.

Baby Baby

Baby baby, can’t you hear my heart beat… well not mine I guess but I’ve had lots of fun in the last couple of weeks sewing for my niece’s new baby girl.  She actually will arrive in this world June 4th but I really didn’t want to wait.  There are still more babies on the horizon. Not my own grandchildren yet, although maybe someday, but children of folks that I do know.

I made this new little girl a lovely “girlie” quilt.  When I first started I knew the colors I wanted to use but when I cut the first pieces out it seemed too intense so I ended up cutting the strips of fabric and resewing and cutting again.  I’m quite pleased with the result.  It has produced a lovely quilt that is not too jarring but very sweet. It has this cute pink dancing bunny flannel on the back.

pinwheel baby quilt - Starfishalley

bunny quilt back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the new baby there is also a tag blanket, a new burp rag and a darling sweater that my friend made for me to give her.

Tag blanket and burp rag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby sweater

 

 

 

 

 

I had some leftover blocks and decided that I needed to make some fun gifts for the big sister too.  Now the big sister is two and a half and loves to help her mommy.  She is also a great imitator and has a wonderful imagination.  I just knew the big sister needed to have a new baby doll of her own.  With that baby doll, she needed a few necessities to take good care of the baby so I also made her a doll blanket for that precious baby, as well as a few diapers with velcro, some diaper wipes, and a diaper bag.  She also has a soft colorful blanket to cover that baby doll so she won’t get cold.

Baby doll, doll diapers and doll quilt

Doll diapers and wipe case

Doll diaper bag