The Next Step

The next step in my adventure was to match up the strips and the zippers.  I knew that I wanted each of the zip pouches to be unique.  I wanted the strips in pairs of patterns and also didn’t want to be too random and stuck at the end with odd color combinations of strips and zippers.  I took the roll ups apart, matched two of the plain prints with a patterned print and then added a coordinating zipper.  I laid them out on the cutting table about 20 at a time and them clipped them together with a binder clip and put them in a basket.  My friend and co-director volunteered to sew the strips together and press the seams open.  That was a life saver for sure!  With a few strips isn’t not so bad but when you are talking in the neighborhood of 70 or so.. this accounts for some extras and several “test” pouches.

 

pairs of fabric strips

strips on the table

strips with zippers

When I got the strips back from Linda, I cut the strips in half and restacked them with a layer of batting.  At this point I could baste them and head for the sewing machine. Now it’s on to the next step.

 

Mixed review

Oldest daughter is going on a trip at the end of the week.  Off to Minnesota where it might be warmer that the Pacific Northwest!  I thought I would make her a new sleeveless top to take with her.  Now this is not always a successful action when you don’t have approval of the pattern or fabric.  It’s also been many years since I have made her any clothing so it was an educated guess on many accounts.  So this is a good news, bad news story.  The good news is that I enjoyed the clothing sewing. The patterns have certainly improved in the 10 plus years that have passed since I intentionally purchased a pattern for a garment other than pj pants. The other good news was that I only spent $5 on fabric so it wasn’t a complete loss.  The bad news was that a) She didn’t like it and b) it was a little snug.  It’s too bad too because I serged the seams so they didn’t ravel, I made my own bias tape for the armholes and everything went together exactly as it should.  Oh well, I knew it was a long shot but thought I had made good guess on the size and style so there was some room for error but I guess not quite enough.  Maybe daughter #2 will like it and it will fit her of I can cut it apart and use it in a quilt or even find another person to give it to.

Sleeveless top

A tag blanket for baby

A tag blanket for baby is a popular gift. When I first saw them I thought it was kind of silly but as I thought about it I realized it was actually a smart gift and something a baby would enjoy.  It’s small enough to put in a diaper bag or use in a car seat or stroller and might even be good in a crib at nap time.  I know that when my kids were babies they liked to rub things between their fingers and it helped to sooth them.  This blanket has something for every mood.  It has lots of color and many textures.  When I was making it I did wonder if there were too many tags or too many colors.  I opted for many textures and many colors. I think this will make the blanket useful for a longer period and should appeal to every childs fascination with color and texture. The front of the tag blanket is a piece of fabric that has cute little bunnies.  The back of the blanket is a piece of fabric I purchased that has alternating squares of flannel and chenille.  Lots of interesting things for baby to look at.  I’m also going to enclose a couple of link toys so mama can attach toys to the ribbon tags or even attach it to the side of a stroller or car seat.  When baby gets tired of it and throws it, this tag blanket for baby will not go very far!

Oh baby baby gift..

Oh baby baby gift… I love to make baby gifts but it’s so hard to make a decision.  There are so many useful little things for babies like blankets, hooded towels, clothes, booties, bags, spit rags and more.  I had to narrow my list this time because there wasn’t too much time.  Just a few days in fact.  This time I decided to make some bibs and a tag blanket.  Of course this certainly involves come choices as well.  What size bibs, what kind of fabric, what type of bib and what should I put on the back.  These were all for a little girl with a modern mama.  I decided that really, these bibs would get spilled on and slobbered on and were really for protecting the clothes so although I wanted them to look cute function was the primary purpose and even a modern mama would know that.  This allowed me to do some experimenting.  This is the first bib.  A small bib for a little girl with a bunny on the front.  The small size could be used for a small child and would be cute and functional.

bunny bib

The next bib is a larger bib with a wider front.  This bib I backed with minky which is a polyester fabric and should allow some moisture protection for the clothing underneath.  I’ve never thought of using minky for the back of a bib.  It actually worked better than I expected and is quite soft.  I wonder how mama will like this one?

bird bib

This last bib is cute in an entirely different sort of way.  It’s more like a baby apron.  I know that mama likes gray and it also lets me use a bit of color so this one too is cute and should be quite functional because it covers the baby lower front and lap.  I lined this one with flannel so it is soft and shapes easily to the baby shape.  Oh this was a fun baby baby gift!

apron front

front and back

 

Remember the old hangers?

Remember the old hangers that used to be in everyone’s closet? You know the kind I mean.  The wire ones your mom got from the cleaners. Sometimes they were colored and I loved those.  I remember one turquoise one that I used to have.  Sometimes they were white but mostly they were gold or gray or just metal colored.  The other hangers that were special were the ones with the cardboard tube at the bottom that you could use for slacks.  We didn’t have too many of those and they were used only for the best pieces that you didn’t want creases in.  Well in my latest sewing project I kept wishing that I had a slacks hanger.  The kind I was thinking about was a wooden one that hubby had when we were first married.  I think they were from his wedding suit and it not only was sturdy wood but had a moveable bar on the bottom that you could unhook to slide the slacks on and then hook it back together and put it in the closet.  We have moved to mostly wash and wear and plastic hangers and I haven’t thought much about hangers until recently when I wanted to hang the latest sewing project.  The project was circles of fabric that I wanted to slide over something and hang.  I couldn’t justify taking the old wooden hanger that now holds other slacks of hubby but lo and behold when I opened the coat closet door, I found a secret stash in the far back.  There it was, the perfect hanger! It is wire with a sturdy cardboard tube.  Happy day!  Now my circles are hung waiting for delivery and I am remembering more good times and special hangers.

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Another little zipper pouch

Another little zipper pouch?  Yes indeed another little zipper pouch!  I’m having lots of fun sewing these little zippered pouches.  I keep working on the zippers to get them just the way I like.  This one is closer.  I love this chair fabric but it was too busy to use a big piece in anything so I decided to just use a section.  Then I had to decided on the size of the section and what other fabrics to pair it with.  Decisions, decisions.  This little pouch is a bit taller and not  as wide as some but I think it would be perfect for and iPod and some ear buds.  The thing I really love about these zippered pouches is that I can throw them in a bag and they don’t end up at the bottom.  It’s also so much easier to find the contents and the bag when they are all together in one place. I grew up with my mother telling me “put it back where you found it!”  I still try to do that because it makes my life so much easier and I’m less frustrated when I don’t have to hunt for my stuff.  Zippered pouches really help.

zip pouch chairs

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

 

 

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.

After Christmas

I’ve made it through Christmas.  Tomorrow is Aaron’s birthday so dinner again but I love to have the kids around and don’t mind cooking if they will come and visit for a while.

Part of the bigger family Christmas celebration this year was a handmade gift exchange.  We each had the name of a family member. The only guideline was something you made.  I enjoyed seeing what everyone created for their giftee.  I had Kim’s name.  The item that I had planned on making didn’t happen.  I ran out of time when my mother became ill and ended up with a 5 day hospital stay from the 15th to the 20th.  I had finished most of the other projects and knew that I would have plenty of time to create this gift.  I’m not going to mention what the gift is. She will probably get this for another occasion because now I have the pattern and all the supplies. My second idea came together quickly.  Kim is a knitter and last fall I traded a friend some market bags for yarn that she had spun into a beautiful skein just right for knitting.  I passed this on to Kim with a bag that I made for her to carry her knitting in.  It’s easy to tuck in a bag or a suitcase.  I had also included a little pair of scissors.  After the gift opening, I told her that I almost put a ribbon on the scissors and attached it to the bag so they would not be so easily misplaced.  She said that she would love that.  I ended up opening the side of the bag and attaching a D ring.  This D ring is now hard at work holding a clip that has the scissors, a tape measure and a needle book attached.  They are all long enough to leave attached to the bag and still be used but the clip can also be unhooked and the tools used.  It’s big enough that it will be noticed if the bundle is set down and yet small and light enough to easily live in the bag until they are needed.