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.

Baby baby..

Baby baby, here’s the next quilt.  I love how soft this one feels after it’s come out of the dryer.  I used my tumbler die and cut them from a bundle of fat quarters that I bought at Joann’s.  I actually bought two stacks when they were on sale with the intent to make a baby quilt.  I actually like the way it turned out although I keep wondering if the red is too “in your face”. Maybe I should have used 2 different bundles so there was more contrast.  It’s hard to know.  I also found yardage of one of the prints at Hancock’s and decided on that for the backing and bias border.  I’m really glad that I made that choice.  It looks good on the back.  The border has all the colors in the quilt top and really pulls it all together.

At the end of the day this was a success.  I’m going to try this again with some gender neutral fabrics and see how it looks.  The size is perfect for a baby quilt. Either on the floor, in a crib or a car seat.  Neither too big or too small.

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

 

 

Just a Slice..

During the summer I bought a die cutter to do applique faster and more easily.  I used it a couple of times and put it away because I had trouble getting all the pieces to cut correctly and I had some adhesive that didn’t work well.  I decided with Christmas gifts on the horizon I needed to get it out again and see if I could remedy the problems and have some fun.  I’ve had mixed success.  I had both Heat and Bond and also some Wonder Under which are iron on fusible that act like double stick tape.  I also tried some spray on adhesive on the cutting mat rather than the liquid that came with the machine.  I also ordered a Christmas die from the Internet as these no longer seem to be available in the area stores.  I certainly with they were easier to find because I would certainly buy some more.

I found that the machine seems to prefer the Wonder Under so I just bought more of that.  I also realized that because this machine will cut paper for scrapbooking as well as fabric, that some of the cuts are not easily stitched around due to the intricacies and the fine detail.  This has led to some experimentation with the applique.  Instead of a solid applique stitch I’ve done some regular zig zag and also some of the machine stitches that look like hand stitching.  I also tried a free form straight stitch that loosely follows the outline of the applique.  This seems to be a very popular style right now.  I’m looking forward to trying some more.  Weekend.. here we come!

Pin cushions

As any seamstress knows a pincushion is your friend.  I own many types of pin cushions and have made pin cushions but recently when I was cleaning out a drawer I found a pin cushion that a friend  brought me many years ago.  She had traveled to Switzerland to visit with relatives that were temporarily living there and brought me back this wonderful pin cushion.  As I’ve mentioned before I struggle to use special things and for many years have put them aside for safe keeping.  One of my recent decisions however is to live life with intention.  One of my intentions  is to cherish these special items but also to use them so I can get pleasure out of them every day.  This pin cushion sits on my sewing table and holds threaded hand sewing needles. Although I don’t do a lot of hand sewing there are always finishing touches that require a needle and thread.  So Sarah, every time I use this pin cushion I think of you and am thankful for  your years of friendship.  What a gift!

A quick gift

A friend is having a birthday and I wanted to make a quick gift.  One pair of fleece socks was included but also some pouches for carrying things.  It seems everyone has a phone and various ways of carrying their phones.  When you get a new phone invariably it’s a different size than the last phone.  That creates the problem of transportation.  Now with  smartphones and the big screens, how do you carry them if you don’t carry a purse or have the right size pocket. The kids often travel with a backpack or book bag and throw the phone in the bottom of the bag. The goal here was a little bag to add some protection to the phone and the screen.  I made three different kinds of pouches not knowing for sure which the  recipient would prefer.  I also don’t know for sure if they always have a plastic cover on  the phone as this too will determine the fit.  I also am guessing on the exact size of the phone.  I think it’s about the same size as mine but I don’t know for sure.  Although I started with the same size pattern for all the pouches they all ended up different sizes due to the construction process.  Two of them have zippers and the other is a snap type pouch.  I’m thinking at least one of them will work for the phone and the others will have other uses. This was a fun project and I think I’ll  be making more pouches.

Halloween towel

I’ve been having fun with some Huck toweling.  I bought a few yards to play with and keep experimenting with options.  I’ve done some applique and also added a border to some of the toweling.  This time instead of a shape applique I added a strip of printed fabric that I attached to the toweling.  It was such a cute and colorful print that I thought this might be fun to try.  I used wonder under on a large piece of fabric and then used my scissors to cut out what I wanted.  I knew that I didn’t want it to be in a straight line so just wiggled around the pumpkins and the scene.  I then ironed it on and I used a narrow zig zag stitch to applique it to the towel.  It turned out cute.  Tomorrow this will go a new home.  This friend likes to cook and has young grandchildren so I’m sure they will all find a use for this new dishtowel.  On to another project. More Huck toweling ideas to come.

 

 

A new shawl

My dear friend Gretchen knit me a pair of slippers last fall.  She knew that my office floor can be cold in the winter and the cozy felted slippers would keep my feet warm.

Now this wonderful friend has knit me a lovely warm sea-foam colored shawl.  It’s very lacy and warm.  I’ve never had a shawl before so I’m looking forward to using it.  It’s soft and lightweight and very pretty.  I’m sure that I’ll get a lot of use from it.  I did show my bridge friends the other night and they were impressed.  Thanks Gretchen, I’m pleased!

Fleece Socks

Many moons ago…or at least fifteen years I think, I was in a fleece sock making mode.  I made big socks, little socks, lightweight socks, heavy socks, patterned sock and plain socks.  Yes I had a great time.  They were fast and easy with my new serger.  When my family was no longer interested in fleece socks, I mean how many pair of fleece socks can a person wear, I gave socks to friends and finally had to give up the fleece sock adventure and move to something else.  Now I’ve had one of those friends ask for new fleece socks.  It’s getting to be fall and the feet are getting cold and the old socks have finally worn out.

This was such a fun project.  I went into the storage room where all the “vintage” fabrics and patterns are located and shopped.  I located fleece and my favorite sock pattern. This is a Rain Shed pattern.  The Rain Shed company is located in Corvallis Oregon so they really understand the local climate and needs.  This pattern is very high quality, it fits well and is fast to sew.  It also produces a professional end product which makes it very satisfying to sew.

The first pair is done.  Now the victim or I mean friend can come and test the fit and I’ll be inclined to sew a few more pair.

fleece socks

Birthdays and more birthdays

It seems like I have lots of friend with birthdays in the next few weeks.  I’m having fun sewing up some new things and each friend will receive something different.  It’s a great way for me to try new things and fun to think of something each friend might use.  I really hate the idea of giving a gift that is not useful in some way.  Then it’s just clutter and something to pass along as a white elephant gift.  Well, I guess the holidays are coming if they want to get rid of these things…  Today I’ve created a dishtowel with some decoration at the bottom.  I had some Huck towelling yardage and that works great for towels.  It’s soft and absorbent and you can bleach it when it becomes dingy.  I also made a rice bag that can either be frozen or heated.  This friend is having a knee replacement the day before her birthday so I was trying to think of something she might find useful in the next few weeks.  This surgery event also made it difficult to choose a birthday card.  Was kind of hard to pick on that said to have a great day or some such thought.  It will soon be a good day but I suspect that may not be her happiest birthday in recent years.  She will be happy with the end result however and that is good.