Dec 25 2016

Hanukkah wine bags and gift baskets

Published by under Sewing

Haukkah gift bags

Wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah!

These are wine bags and gift baskets that I made last year with some fabric I designed on Spoonflower. I couldn’t find the kind of Hanukkah fabric that I wanted so I made my own! And now it’s available to you, too!

I wrote up a tutorial for the tall wine bag but needed to test it out. I’ve done so and here it is.

Meanwhile here are a few more pictures from my tester bags. All of the fabrics are printed on Spoonflower’s basic cotton.

Hanukkah wine bag

This one uses shape flex (Pellon SF101) as support for the fabric. The lining is plain white muslin.

Hanukkah wine bag

This one uses fusible fleece as the stabilizer. I wasn’t thrilled by how it wrinkled a bit after fusing, but I think that was due to poor quality fleece. My preferred fleece is Thermolam, but I used something else in the case. Not sure what it was, but I won’t be using it again.

Hanukkah wine bag

This is a slightly different style that I was trying out. No stabilizers, but it does have a round bottom. Lining is the coordinating striped fabric you can see.

Hannukah short basket

And finally one more test. This was more of a basket style. I used some coordinating quilting cotton for the lining and lined with the meh fleece mention above.

Tomorrow I’ll post a walk through for making the tall ones.

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Dec 17 2016

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Published by under Quilting

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

This was a quilt which I did for fun because I loved the fabric. I actually finished it last year but only got around to posting pictures now because I thought it might be a gift and didn’t want to ruin the surprise. But it has long since found it’s happy home, so I’m free to post!

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company strips 

The fabric line is Good Company by Jennifer Paganelli. I’m a huge fan of her prints. The fabric is delightfully soft and would probably drape nicely. I would love to make a dress out of one of her fabrics at some point although I think this particularly line is out of print now. 🙁

These were actually part of a wide jelly roll — each strip was 6” wide by width of fabric.

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company strips

I then cut each strip into thirds. Probably about 14 inches long each.

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Put them in columns and rows and there you have it.

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

I had fun with the quilting and used the designs as inspiration, but also going for a sort of whimsical look. You can really see the quilting by looking at the back where I of course used minky because it feels so cuddly but also because I knew it would show off the quilting nicely:

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

For the binding I used some green and white striped fabric from a different Jennifer Paganelli line (can’t remember which one though). I think it compliments the prints, adds interest and ties it all together.

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

I love how it turned out. I thought it might be a baby gift, but then the person I was thinking of giving it to had a boy so I had to change gear for them. I thought I might keep it for myself but we’re amassing quite a collection of quilts. When my mom came to visit, she saw it and loved it and now it lives with her (and I still get to use it when I visit 🙂 ).

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Dec 14 2016

Thanksgiving 5k Tutus

Published by under Crafts

TurkeyTrotTutus

I had to put this one under crafts because there’s actually no sewing involved!

My family does a Turkey Trot 5k run every year on Thanksgiving Day. We’ve been doing it at least the last 5 years, maybe 10. I’ve lost count at this point. Some years I run. This year I walked with my cousin since she was pregnant and the running aggravated things (as they will when you’re carrying another human).

To make things a little more “exciting” this year, we decided to make matching tutus! I looked at a bunch of different tutu tutorials online and then basically used this tutorial from DIY Projects mostly for the yardage and size of strips. We used elastic rather than ribbon though and of course a variety of colors, but it came out to approximately 6 yards of tulle per skirt.

Materials

  • 1 yard of 1/2 inch elastic (or whatever is needed to go around your waist and tie it in a knot)
  • 6 yards of tulle (feel free to mix up the colors!)

Tools

  • Rotary cutter & mat
  • Scissors
  • Your hands 🙂

Directions

Cutting tulle for Turkey Trot Tutus

Use the rotary cutter to slice the tulle into 6 inch strips. I started using a rotary ruler for this to begin with but trying to layout the tulle, measure was too much bother so I just eyeballed it. Tutu making of this sort is not an exact science so it wasn’t really a big deal, made no difference to the finished product and went so much faster.

Tulle strips for Turkey Trot Tutus

Tulle strips for Turkey Trot Tutus

Cut each strip in half so that they’re about 25” long each. I had some minions to do this for me while I continued to cut strips. 🙂

Attaching strips for Turkey Trot Tutus

Tie the elastic around your waist and then do pull over knots to tie it to the elastic. Repeat until tutu has desired fullness.

Attaching strips for Turkey Trot Tutus

What’s a pull over knot? This is where you create a loop with the tulle (ideally at the middle of the strip) and pull the rest of the tulle through that loop so that it wraps around the elastic (or whatever you are tying it to). The tutorial linked above has some good photos of how to do it if mine don’t make sense.

Backside of Turkey Trot Tutus My Turkey Trot Tutus

Enjoy your tutu!

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Nov 20 2016

do. Good Stitches

Published by under Quilting,Sewing

Grace circle November blocks

I get a lot of joy out of quilting and sewing, but most of the sewing that I do would be classified as “selfish sewing.” It’s sewing that I do for me because I want to. I don’t feel too bad about this because I work hard at my job and sewing is one of my two main outlets for relaxing and having fun.

However, in general, I do feel the need to give back to my community and I found that with quilting, I can actually do both. Last year I heard about do. Good Stitches. do. Good Stitches is a charity bee started by Rachel Hauser of Stitched in Color where quilts are made by groups to give to people in need. People can be either stitchers or quilters. Both types of contributors make blocks each month, but the quilters also assemble and ship off finished quilts as well. I figured it would be a manageable way to give back without a massive time commitment so I signed up to be a stitcher on the waitlist.

I was contacted back in June about joining one of the quilt circles. However, the circle was looking for a quilter, not a stitcher. I was a little nervous about the increased commitment as a quilter but I really wanted to be a part of this organization and give back so I agreed. The circle I was invited to was the Grace Circle whose charity recipient is My Very Own Blanket, an organization that gives quilts to foster children. One of my best friends recently started fostering children and I had learned from her about how hard it can be for those children. I’d read all the stories, of course, but it’s not the same as first hand accounts. For that reason, this circle seemed like a particularly good fit.

Through my involvement, I’ve met several wonderful women who are also a part of Grace Circle and I’ve gotten to try out a bunch of new blocks. The quilter for each month gets to pick the size, color, design for the block and sends it out. My first month as quilter was October so I’ll share my first quilt made for Grace Circle in a few weeks after I’ve finished it up.

In the mean time, here are some of the blocks that I’ve made as part of do. Good Stitches in addition to the one at the top of this post. One of the things that continues to amaze me is how cool the quilts look despite varied interpretations of the quilter’s request. The sum really is greater than the parts!

Grace Circle September '16 Blocks

Grace Circle August Block

Grace do. Good Stitches July 2016 blocks

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Nov 17 2016

Chainmaille bracelets and flowers

Published by under Crafts

Chainmaille and scale maille

Right, so among the many things I’ve been up to recently . . . one of those was taking a chainmaille class. I wasn’t taking it to make armor or anything like that. No, it was to make pretty jewelry.

Chainmaille 6 in 1

The first chainmaille pattern we learned was the 6 in 1. It’s pretty basic and I could use it to make chainmaille if I wanted to. But I probably won’t.

Chainmaille 6 in 1

We just made a bracelet out of it.

Chainmaille Byzantine

The second one we learned was the Byzantine round. This was my favorite. I love the two colors and how round it actually feels. I may actually wear this one.

Scale maille flowers

And for bonus we learned how to make scale maille flowers. Scale maille is basically plate armor stuff.

All of these was aluminum so very light and since it’s anodized aluminum, pretty colors as well. The supplies were purchased from The Ring Lord.

It was lots of fun! I hope I have time to make more stuff in the future. I may or may not have already bought some more rings 🙂

Scale maille flowers

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Nov 14 2016

Baby boy flannel quilt

Published by under Quilting

Baby boy woodland creature flannel quilt

Despite not posting for the last . . . oh, 3 months, I have been actually been doing stuff. There’s been sewing and traveling and quilting and preserving and puzzling and dancing and probably more. Which is why there haven’t been posts. But trying to catch up on stuff now. Someday I’ll get this whole blogging thing under control. Maybe.

Baby boy woodland creature flannel quilt

This one is a baby quilt for a friend who had a baby in August. It took me a little bit to get her the quilt (I originally intended it for her shower in June) but I had to get longarm time (and life time) to finish it.

Baby quilt pieces

I found this jelly roll of super cute flannel with little woodland creatures on it. I pieced sets of three strips together and then cut them into squares.

Baby quilt assembly

Then I laid out the squares in a grid, alternating direction.

Baby boy woodland creature flannel quilt

For the quilting, I did some freestyle swirls following the pattern of the blocks. I love how the design really shows through on the flannel.

Baby boy woodland creature flannel quilt

For the back I used minky because it’s so soft and cuddly for the babies.

Baby boy woodland creature flannel quilt

They had yardage of the flannel as well so I picked up some of the striped one to use as the binding. Sewing flannel was a bit challenging — it liked to slide and the binding was no different — but it turned out okay in the end.

Baby boy burp cloths

I ended up with some odds and end pieces that I put together to make a couple of burp cloths backed with minky.

Baby boy burp cloths

It was nice to be able to include a little something extra that coordinated. From what I see on Facebook, the little guy is getting plenty of use out of his blanket 🙂

Baby boy woodland creature flannel quilt

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Nov 11 2016

Sprout Sloan Leggings by Hey June

Published by under Sewing

Sprout Sloan Gingko Leggings

A while back I wanted a quick and easy project. So I ordered some Sloan Leggings from Sprout patterns. I’ve mentioned Sprout before. The Sloan Leggings are a pattern by Hey June. And this is definitely a super quick and easy project.
 
Sprout Spoonflower package
 
The fabric is printed by Spoonflowe so it comes wrapped nicely.
 
Sprout Sloan Leggings before cutting
 
I wanted something kinda “zen” that I could wear to yoga so I went for this gingko leaf design by lauriekentdesigns. I was also trying to match a green top. I did not actually manage to match it, but I did like the print.
 
Folded Sloan Leggings
 
The leggings themselves went together in an afternoon. Maybe an hour? Tops. There’s only a few seams.
 
Sloan Leggings taking in the inseam
 
I ordered a medium based on the measurements on the website. I ended up having to take it in — everywhere. The crotch, the legs. But it’s always better (and possible) to take in than out. This fabric was Spoonflower’s performance lycra. I really like the fabric, but it’s got a lot of stretch. So next time I would probably order an extra small (for those of you thinking of ordering your own).
 
Sloan Leggings cutting interfacing
 
My only real beef with the pattern itself was that they recommend putting in knit interfacing in the waistband. Above is how I cut out the interfacing because I didn’t feel like printing and tracing the pattern. Maybe I used terrible interfacing. Don’t know. But it left it really wrinkled after it stretched the first time. It’s fine when it’s pulled up (sorta — but no one sees it usually):
 
Sprout Sloan Gingko Leggings
 
But looks a bit odd when rolled down. Or maybe it’s just a texture feature 🙂
 
Please ignore that you can kinda see my panty outline in these photos. I usually wear it with a skirt or long shirt over top like in the first photo.
 
Sprout Sloan Gingko Leggings
 
Either way, they work. I’ve since made the Sloan leggings again and not put interfacing in the waistband which works much better for me.
 
Sprout Sloan Gingko Leggings
 
Here’s a side view.
 
Overall they’re good leggings. I’ve got a legging pattern comparison post coming up. But the features I like about the Sloan leggings are:
  • wide waistband
  • card pocket (I can actually fit my whole phone which is great when walking the dogs)
  • extra shaping around the calf
I leave you with one last photo. I need to find something that matches them better . . .
 
Sprout Sloan Gingko Leggings

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Nov 08 2016

More Halloween Fun

Published by under Quilting,Sewing

Halloween Table Runner

Some more decoration for Halloween. I worked on a Halloween quilt this year (more details on that in another post). And using the leftover fabric, I decided to make a little festive table decoration.

HalloweenRunner-1

The overall design was pretty simple. Just laid out the squares and sewed them together. After doing so, it wasn’t quite big enough to put the black around the edges using some black strips leftover from a kona black jelly roll. I mitered the corners! That was the first time and I like how it came out.

HalloweenRunner-4

I used fusible batting to give it some bulk and then just sewed the backing around the edges and turned it inside out. I did a bit of stitch in the ditch quilting between the black border and the inside to just give it some stability. In hindsight, I realized I never sewed up the edge (was planning to sew around the edge) but it apparently didn’t need it. If I ever need to wash it, I’ll make sure to do it first though.

Here’s the back in case you’re curious. Pretty basic, but looks great on the table!

Halloween Table Runner underside

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Nov 05 2016

The force was strong this Halloween

Published by under Cosplay,Dog

Leia and Obi-Wan

This year for Halloween we went full Star Wars. Minnie was Princess Leia and Max was Obi-Wan (at least that’s who I based his jedi robes off of. They were a little less than cooperative with the modeling this year than last year, but I think we still managed to get some decent photos.

Leia and Obi-Wan

I like this one because you can see her belt and hood.

Leia and Obi-Wan

Leia and Obi-Wan

Leia and Obi-Wan

His sash did not want to cooperate. Nor did he.

Leia and Obi-Wan

Unfortunately we don’t have any photos where you can see the hood on his robe. But it’s there.

Leia and Obi-Wan

Leia and Obi-Wan

And some behind the scenes of the styling:

Leia and Obi-Wan

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May 23 2016

iPad Pencil Holder

Published by under Sewing

IPad Pencil leather holder

 
My husband has one of those Apple Pencils to go with his iPad but he has a hard time keeping track of it, so he asked me to make him a holder for it that could attach to his iPad.
 
IPad Pencil leather holder
 
I actually made him two. One from leather and one from lycra. Personally I think the leather one came out a little better. I did a better job of tapering the leather at the point and giving the top piece slack to allow for the pencil. Plus the leather naturally has some grip on the pencil.
 
IPad Pencil leather holder detail
 
My leather skills aren’t perfect, but they are greatly improved from my recent bag making. I used some pieces I had in a large scrap bag from Michael’s.
 
IPad Pencil leather holder inside
 
For the inside of both, I used black lycra. I wanted some thing stretchy so I didn’t have to add additional elastic but also thin and smooth since it would be up against the screen. This seemed to fit the bill and did indeed work well. Bonus that it doesn’t need to be finished on the edges making it even smoother.
 
iPad Pencil lycra holder
 
The second one was all lycra. I didn’t give the top layer as much give as the leather one because I worried about it being too loose and not holding the pen. Although I double interfaced the lycra on the bottom part, I should have given it a stable base like peltex. Next time . . . this is good enough for now.

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