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.

 

 

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!

Vintage rag dolls

A friend was cleaning out a closet and came across a package of old fabric.  One of the pieces was orange silk and the other was a panel of fabric that had been fashioned after vintage rag dolls and was printed for “Her Majesty’s Stationery Office” and came from the Bethnal Green Museum in London. ” London’s Bethnal Green houses the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection of childhood-related objects and artefacts, spanning the 1600s to the present day.”  I have been looking at their website and it looks like a very interesting place to visit.  I’ve also checked out the gift shop link and there are many interesting things here as well.  I wish it was closer because I would love to visit.

These dolls however will be fun for my friends granddaughters to play with.  I applaud her for the decision to make them up and let the kids play.  So often I find myself bringing this kind of stuff home and then feeling I should save it for a special occasion or day and then the kids grew up or lose interest and here I had this very fun whatever and never got used.

Here are pictures of the panels.  After they have been stuffed, I’ll ask Sally to take a picture and send me so I can add it to this log of projects.

Third times a charm.. or is it?

In this case.. not entirely.  The process of a smaller bag is closer but not quite there.  This time I think I didn’t have the iron quite hot enough so the fabric is laminated but I’ve noticed as I was sewing it seems to be loose in a few places.  This has happened as I was sewing so it seems the adhesion was good but not good enough.  The size of the bag seems to be fine and I should be able to fine tune it so next time is good.  The fabric is cute and the function will be fine but the durability of this bag is in question.  Onward and upward for number 4!

Uh oh!

It happened.  Late at night of course while I was picking up and finishing the last of the evening projects.  You know how it is. You’re tired and in a hurry and suddenly.. oops!  I was cleaning off the top of the sewing table and pushed on a pile of stuff so I could organize my other piles when it happened.  I heard a loud plop and my magnetic pin cushion slid off the back of the sewing table and crashed on the floor.  The floor is tile and you can imagine what happened.  My lovely magnetic pin cushion lay in pieces and there were pins splattered all over the floor.  Not in a convenient place to pick things up either.  So I got down on my hands and knees, scooted under the machine and gathered up all my lovely pins and the remaining pieces of this pin cushion.  Although this is not my favorite color pin cushion it is a favorite because of the function. If you’ve never used a magnetic pin cushion put it on your next birthday/Christmas any occasion gift list.  Once you’ve used one you will not want to be without.  I do use several pin cushions including a wrist pincushion, a small pin cushion just for sewing needles, one for machine needles that’s marked with sizes and then my magnetic pin cushion.  This is so handy when you’re pinning taking pins out of things and you can just lay them down.  They all stay in one place.  When you pick them up they are easy to grab as well.  I’ve relocated the pins for a time and have the glue out to see if I can make repairs.  If not, then it will go on my Christmas list.  Next time I want a red one please. Or even a blue one or a purple one or I guess any one would do.

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.

Second version

In this second version of the smaller market bag  I shortened the bag and I also laminated some fabric that I thought would make a great looking bag.  There were a couple of challenges.  I must have had the iron a bit too hot because some of the fabric yellowed a bit.  I was able to use that section for the handles so it’s really not noticeable.  I haven’t used this laminating material for many years and I didn’t have this iron on my last laminating adventure.  It is a higher quality iron and the heat is higher which I had forgotten.  Now I’m ready to try again on a different piece of fabric.  I am pleased with the size however.  I’ll make one more and make it about an inch taller and then I think it will be perfect.  I think this size will be perfect to take to the drugstore of anyplace where you will be just picking up a few smaller items.  I’m going to keep this one for myself because it doesn’t meet my standards for a gift or for sale and I know it will work just fine.  I do love the yellow and gray although they are not colors I would usually choose.

 

Smaller oilcloth bag

I’m making a smaller oilcloth bag for a friend.  I’m trying out a couple of different sizes of bags because I keep having requests for a smaller size.  This first one I reduced the height by 5 inches and the width by 2.5 inches.  I like the width and think that will be fine but I think I’m going to make another bag and shorten the height a bit more.  This one is actually a good size and would be handy at the drugstore or at the bookstore where you want a bag but don’t want or need such a big one.  I’m looking forward to making a few more of these and then ask what size my friend would like what her opinion is.

Orange you glad you did?

When my kids were little they really loved knock knock jokes.  This was the punchline of one of them..  In this care,orange you glad you told me how to adjust the sock measurements because these will probably fit a bit better.  I talked to my victim friend with the cold feet and decided what adjustments we would like to make to the socks.  I ended up making them a bit narrower at the front as he has narrow feet.  I also lengthen the hight of the sock a bit so he could wear them inside boots without them rubbing.  This is more vintage fleece.  It seems like it might have been from an old Halloween costume although I can’t remember for sure.  It really is a bit more cantaloupe colored than the picture shows.  I found a remnant of some black swimsuit fabric when I was at Joann’s last week and it made perfect ribbing.  It has a higher lycra content than ribbing so the stretch recovery and is better and it should not overstretch as easily.  It also has a high cotton content so it should feel good on the legs.  I normally wouldn’t use black thread either but it was on the machine and it’s close to Halloween so I decided you could wear them as part of a costume if you wanted to be a pumpkin.  Also, I wanted to try the pattern adjustments and decided that once they’re inside shoes or worn around the house it didn’t really matter what the color looked like.  The contrast is fine with me also and adds a bit of interest to plain old socks.