Saturday, October 30, 2010


I love scraps of material, the 'bits' of quilts leftover. When I'm out of projects to work on (which is never!), I pull out scraps and sew them together. Here's a few leftovers sewn together and waiting for their chance to be made into something special....and while they wait, they hang on my walls to add a bit of color to the sewing room.

This one is unique in that it is ALL handsewn, in the true Japanese style of quilting (I swear, if I followed true Japanese quilting, I'd never pick up a project, the thought of making a queen-size quilt ALL BY HAND!! Not even a thought...

The bits in this one come from a Moda line, and were leftover from a tote-bag I made for my little sister.

Quilting is not my only craze! I cross-stitch whenever I have to be away from the machine...on the train to work, watching TV, sitting in a restaurant and having coffee...I started this project in June, 2010, finished in October. Fabric is Aida 18ct, which is harder to work on, but makes details so much more fine.

Not sure where the bits from this project came from, I think several leftovers thrown into the mix. The diamonds are about 1"x1" total, so the project is small.

These will eventually be made into placemats, the design came from a wonderful little Japanese hexagon pattern book, which I bought on for less than $5, and found selling on Ebay for over $15! Hmmm.... Each placemat has a color theme, I made a blue one which went as a gift to my step-daughter. I plan on a purple, orange, another blue, and maybe a yellow one.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tote on Request

Finished up this requested tote bag for my step-mother. I love the fabrics, the darker one is actually a dark chocolate brown with bright blues and greens in it, a bit of yellow, then a soft but bright yellow for the bottom half, which are actually outer pockets, I chose an Amy Butler pale blue with white and greenish grey leaves for the handles. All in all I'm really happy with how it turned out!

For the inside lining I used some lavender fabric and made a couple of pockets with leftover fabric from the bag exterior.

Here is a closer shot of the main fabrics I used, plus my little handmade tag on the edge there!

And finally a side view of the bag. It's large enough to hold textbooks and a few other things too.

The original pattern is a freebie I found online at All People The bag was originally smaller, but as the bag was needed for carrying teaching books, I enlarged it by about 4" in each direction except the bottom. Find the original here: Pick-A-Pocket Purse

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Project! 9-patch cushion cover

A small and quick project I did the other day, using a nice little bunch of leftover fabric from my friend Patti, with a Halloween/fall theme. It's a 9-patch in the center, with some borders added. The cover ended up being a bit too small for the cushion, but with some squeezing I managed to get it in.

Here is the back, I opted for snap closures. Originally I wanted a zipper, but none of my zippers were the right size and I couldn't wait till I got into Osaka to buy a, I modified my plan :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tutorial! Zippered pouch

My first tutorial! Ever! My daughter's friend requested a small makeup pouch, so I designed this for her, it's the perfect size to fit in your purse, carry feminine products, makeup, ipod...and it's CUTE!! Most of all, it was pretty easy to make, less than an hour from start to finish, including taking the pictures!

1. Cut out will need:

* 1 zipper (mine was about 6.5" or 7. Longer is OK, you can trim it, shorter is not so good)
* 1 applique embellishment (or not, I like the color it added, mine was made from an English paper piecing hexagon)
* 2 pieces for outer fabric
--1 piece for top of pouch: 4.5"x 6.5"
--1 piece for bottom of pouch: 11.5"x6.5"
1 piece of cloth for lining: 15.5"x6.5"
(optional) 1 piece of batting or felt or flannel for a lining, gives the pouch some stability, but can be left out. Or, you can iron on some fusible web to the back of the lining, that'd work too!

Iron one short end of your main fabrics, and both ends of the lining fabric at 1/4". I used flannel for a support rather than batting, and cut it 1/4" shorter than the lining on each side. Iron the lining over the batting.
Pin the zipper to your bottom outer fabric and lining fabric on the other side.

Sew together (should have 3 layers) using your zipper foot (I have a lovely Bernina that my Mom gave me last year!)

Pin the upper outside fabric to the other side of the zipper and (here's the tricky part) pin the lining fabric to the opposite side of the zipper.

Sew in place.

At this point I added the blue hexagon about 1.5" under the zipper and in from the edge. I used an applique stitch to do it.

Sew the two outer fabric pieces with right sides together.

Iron and sew along the seam where your two outer fabrics meet. Another option is to hand embroider a straight stitch right there, which gives it a nice touch.

Lay the pouch down and adjust where you want the opening to be. I put it around 1.5" from the top. I also like to add a little homemade tag to the side, sort of cute.

If you're putting a tag on, pin it on, right side of tag facing right side of fabric. I forgot to take a picture, but at this point, turn the entire bag inside out, and pin the open sides together, then sew them down, about 1/4" from the edge. Make sure to leave the zip open so you can turn it back around when done!

I trimmed the edges down a bit and then zig-zagged.

So, now to make the box corners. I like to put a pin along the center of the bottom of the project to make it easier to fold it down.
Fold the fabric down with the center of the zig-zag edge meeting the center of the bottom of your pouch, pin to secure.

Lay it out flat, and measure about 1" from the bottom corner, draw a line.

Sew along the line (this will make about a 2" bottom, but if you want a slimmer bag, measure the corners at about 3/4".)

Cut off the corners and zig-zag the open edge.

Turn it right-side out and tah-dah! There you are!

Since this was my first tutorial, i know it's gotta be confusing in some parts and probably not friendly to a newbie sewer! Write me if you have a question so I can work on clarifying my messy explanation!

Well well

Here I am, trying to make another blog. Maybe I'll keep this one up, that's the challenge!!