Sunday, May 27, 2012

Phlipphlap Bag: the Good & the Bad...

This is the front of the Philipphlap Bag I made this weekend. I chose all batiks because I love the bright colors. My favorites are the multi-color circle print on the black background and the turquoise print which is the long flap. I like the look of this bag.

The instructions say you can wear this bag as in the 1st photo, or flip the back flap to the front which I did in this photo. However, one of several problems with this pattern was they only had one photo of this bag and it was like the 1st photo in different fabrics of course. Since I did not really know how this bag would turn out looking, as this pattern did not provide adequate photos, I would have chosen another fabric for the back flap as shown this way it covers up my favorite colorful circle fabric.

This is back of the bag with the back flap and large turquoise pocket.

This is the back of the bag again, this time the back flap has been flipped to the front, so this is how it would look on the back of the bag without the back flap.

The purple front pocket is the optional cell phone pocket and this is the larger cell phone pocket. There is a choice of 2 sizes.

This is the inside of one of the bag sections. I chose a yellow lining and that is a pocket inside. The correct pocket placed in the correct place.

This is the inside of the other bag section. See that pocket on the bottom of the bag? This is where the instructions were incorrect. The instructions tell you to measure so many inches from the fabric edge and they warn you to make sure the opening of the pocket is placed correctly and show a diagram too. I made sure I placed this pocket and the other pocket too as instructed. I double and even tripled checked this placement. This bag starts out flat and then later it is folded up accordion style and sewn. So even after the instructions tell me to place the pockets like I did, this pocket came out in the middle of the bottom of the bag and the opening is upside down! Totally useless pocket and I can only rip it out as it cannot be fixed now. So much for their warnings because they were wrong.
 Like I mentioned above, I like the look of this bag, but I only placed my wallet, sunglasses in it's case, and a fabric pocket of tissues inside and it felt too heavy. It seems to wear better with the back flap to the front, but it hides my favorite fabric that way. It doesn't appear to hang well. The straps I made narrower because the instructions had you cut 3" wide straps to fit into narrow casing you make and no way would wide straps fit into such a narrow casing. The narrower straps I made still barely fit through the casing. I think one problem with this bag is that there is too much weight on the straps and placing anything in the bag adds to the weight. There is also a dowel in the casing to help stabilize the bag. This is the smaller version too. The larger version is supposed to hold a laptop. I cannot imagine it being sturdy enough to hold something that heavy, when this smaller bag doesn't seem to be properly balanced. Looks great when it's empty.
I wish I would have been able to see more photos before making this bag. So in case someone sees this posting and is going to make this bag, I hope this helps you. I also would like to add that the person who wrote this pattern should take note and include more photos of the finished product as well as correct the mistakes in this pattern. I looked up the company online, but there was no contact email information on their site. So I couldn't tell them about their mistakes in the instructions or give them my suggestions.
Desert Willow flowers. I took photos of the bags above in my desert willow and these are the flowers. This is a burgundy desert willow. We also have a pink desert willow too.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Strawberry Bag pdf Tutorial

I wrote clear concise instructions with step-by-step photos on how to make this fun strawberry bag. You'll want to make several as gifts and for yourself too. Great way to use some of your fun fabric. You can purchase this pdf through Craftsy .
Bag goes inside the strawberry shape for easy carrying.
Bag opened to use.
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Basket of Strawberries

I am working on a pdf pattern right now for making these bags. I hope to have the pdf finished sometime this weekend.
A basket of strawberry bags that is.
***Update: to purchase the pdf pattern for making this bag please go to my Craftsy Store. The link is on the sidebar of my blog.
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Thrift Store Find

I found this at a thrift store. It was the wooden part of one of those lap desks where a pillow is supposed to be attached on the other side. There were 6 large rough Velcro pieces on the other side of this wooden lap desk and the Velcro was stapled in place with a heavy duty staple.

I used the shape of the wooden lap desk to create this pillow and sewed the soft Velcro pieces to the fabric in order to attach the pillow to the Velcro that was on the desk. I stuffed this pillow with fabric scraps. It works great!
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Knit Socks

I finished these socks that I starting knitting in April. I love the colors and it's always fun to knit with yarn that self stripes. I think self-striping yarn is the best yarn invention ever made!

Closer look at the right twist ribbing.
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Bloggers' Quilt Festival!

I entered my New Mexico quilt into this festival~
Amy's Creative Side
New Mexico Quilt
I made this quilt because I live in New Mexico and wanted a Southwestern quilt for our bedroom. It's special to me because my husband really loves this quilt. I love bright colors and wanted to use some of my Southwest print fabrics that I had. Although they read solid from a distance the orange, green and purple fabrics are Southwest prints. The black really made those colors pop. I adapted this quilt from a Michelle Watts' design, which she calls Midnight in Santa Fe. (Michelle is also a New Mexican quilter and quilt designer).

Since I made my quilt smaller than Michelle's original design, and I also placed my last border in a different postion on my quilt and didn't make the zigzag border like she has on her quilt. I also introduced another color into the center of the little cross in my last border, where her pattern has it all one color. I like to change at least a little bit of a pattern if I use one. I learned that I need to quilt in the ditch first before doing the free motion quilting to anchor the quilt in place.
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Something New: PayPal

I added a PayPal button to the Alphabet Pattern that I am selling (see Items for Sale above). I am totally new at this and I am in the learning process here, so please be patient if things don't work properly, and please let me know if something isn't right. I have no idea how this works or even if it will work. I am hoping I will understand this at my end, but right now it's a complete mystery to me. If you have a blog/website where you sell things and use PayPal, I'd love some tips, pointers, and help in learning about how this works. I am trying to sell the pattern as a pdf, but this is where I don't understand how it works. I have a pdf of the pattern on my computer, so when you purchase the pattern I must have your email address in order to email it to you once I receive your payment through PayPal. However, I am not sure how long this takes and so I have absolutely no clue how you would receive the pattern in your inbox instantly.  Rest assured if you purchase this pattern you will receive it, just how long it takes I don't know. I am testing this whole PayPal thing out with just this pattern for now to see how it works before adding anything else to be purchased using PayPal. Of course if I don't even sell any patterns I will never know whether it works or not.

It's always a little scary to try something new and I thought about doing this for a long time, but I just wasn't sure how. The PayPal website tells you how to set up an account, but they don't really explain all that much as far as I can see. I have had an account with them for purchasing items for myself and of course it works that way, but I don't know how it works for selling on my end. When I sell something that needs to be physically shipped, I suppose I would be sent all that information through PayPal?

I hope you can help me through this new venture with some of your insight and helpful comments. Thanks so much and wish me luck.
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String Quilt in Progress

I made a lot of string quilt blocks using up those never ending piles of scraps I have and the blocks sat stacked up on my table for about a year. I finally decided I would do a quilt-as-you-go in rows, since this is a king size quilt. So I got down on my hands and knees 2 days ago and I pin-basted 5 rows (one single row and 4 double block rows). This is so large as you can see by the photograph, that the row on the far left ran into the table and chair and couldn't be placed down flat on the floor. I wasn't about to wrestle this monster under my sewing machine to quilt it and this is why I am doing a quilt-as-you-go in rows.
I linked this to the May-for-Me Thursday linkys. Also see the top tab under Weekly Linky Parties.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Prickly Pear Cactus Flowers

I went for a walk yesterday morning and the prickly pear cactus flowers were closed because it wasn't warm enough outside.

Closed prickly pear cactus flowers.

I went out later in the early afternoon and most of the flowers were all open and the bees were buzzing from flower-to-flower. The flowers range in color from yellow to a pale apricot color.

I just love this shade of yellow and how delicate the flowers look amongst the thorns of the cactus.

This is a cholla cactus and the buds are forming.

Closer look at the cholla cactus buds. These beauties will bloom into the prettiest shade of fuchsia.
I gathered prickly pear cactus apples last year and made a dye for dying some wool yarn. I also made a second dying which came out pinker. I knit this vest in the lighter yarn that was dyed from the cactus juice.
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Bee Mug & Matching Mug Rug

I made a mug rug to match my mug. Several years ago we bought a set of 6 mugs at Costco and 2 are bees, 2 are dragonflies and 2 are lady bugs. I think I will make more mug rugs to match the other 2 as well. I appliqued and embroidered the bees. I happened to have some small pieces of the 2 blue fabrics and they worked perfectly for this. I made this using just scraps.


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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Strawberry Bag

I made a tote bag that scrunches into the corner of the bag, when not being used and becomes a...
...strawberry when the rest of the tote is stuffed inside. Then I can add a carabiner clip and attach it to the outside of my purse so that I can always have a bag available when I need to use it.
I made several more to give as gifts to friends and family. I'll post those later as I give them to each person. Don't want any of them to see them ahead of time you know.

To purchase this pattern to make your own Strawberry Bag, please go to my Craftsy Store (see sidebar).
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Susan!

My friend Susan's birthday is today. This is what I sent her~
This is the "gift wrapping" for the presents (below) that I made for Susan.

This is the fabric for the main body of the drawstring bag. Perfect fabric, isn't it?

This started out as a mug rug. I wanted to make wool felt appliques on a cotton fabric background. I added a felt wavy border but that wasn't quite right, so I added some rick rack and French knots on top of the rick rack. It still needed something and so I added the lace all around it. Now I am not sure if it would even work as a mug rug or a small placemat or a wall quilt? I suppose Susan will have to decide how to use it.

Closer look at the wool embroidered appliques.

And the no-calorie cupcake, with sprinkles on top.

Susan loves sea turtles and so I made this large turtle pincushion. I stuffed with poly stuffing and then added a lot of crushed walnut shells to weight it down. It could also be used as a toy for any future granchildren Susan might have.

Front view.

Belly view. I sewed my label on by hand as an after thought.

Top view. I added the button on top just for fun.
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