Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My 2016 Goals

With the New Year of 2016 approaching fast, I thought I would share a few of my goals (resolutions) here. As some people will tell you that if you write your goals or resolutions down it will make you more accountable. So here goes:

  • Spend more time creating and less time on the computer! (Which means less blogging, less Facebook, less Pinterest and less mindless surfing!!!)
  • Lose the weight I slowly gained over the past 10 years so that I can fit back into my favorite blue jeans again! *sigh*
  • Exercise more.
  • Make things I really want to make for myself, and family and friends.
  • Get rid of stuff I no longer need, want or use by selling it, donating it, trading it, or just giving it away to someone.
  • Stop buying and collecting more stuff I do not need!
  • Do what makes me happy.
My husband will be the happiest man on Earth if I can accomplish those 7 goals, LOL!!!

I will still blog, even if it's less often than before. I hope I will be sharing much more creative stuff with you in the new year. So many other bloggers have turned to sharing on Facebook rather than to continue to blog. Blogging does take some time to do, but I enjoy blogging and reading other blogs too. Even though Facebook is supposed to be about connecting with friends and family, I find it more impersonal than a blog. Facebook is mostly sharing photos, or short videos or other stuff you find on the internet to share. I haven't gotten to know anyone any better from being on Facebook. So many people on Facebook I do not even know at all. I joined some groups like a few bag making groups and it's nice to see what those women have created, but I really only know a few of those women. I enjoy some things on Facebook, but it is the biggest time waster of all the stuff on the internet (in my opinion). I know some of you love Facebook, but I resisted joining it and finally gave in several months ago because of the bag groups I belong to. The idea how Facebook got started (connecting college students with other college students) was a good idea, but it is no longer just about connecting with a few friends at college. Businesses, the news media, the government, etc. all have Facebook connections. It is no longer about connecting with a few college friends or even beyond college friends. It's the whole world connecting. Some are closed private groups and there are so many of those groups out there that who has the time to connect with them all? 90% of the stuff posted on Facebook is from someone I do not even know. Instagram makes more sense if all you want is to look at or post photos, but since I do not have a cell phone, I found out that I cannot post photos on Instagram myself, which is probably a good thing for me as it means one less thing on the computer to waste my time with.

What about you my lovely readers and followers? Do you prefer to read a blog or Facebook or Instagram, etc? Is blogging fast becoming a dinosaur in today's world? I would be curious to know what others think about all the stuff that captures our attention on the internet these days.

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!

merry christmas
happy new year 
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Monday, December 21, 2015

The Angelina Bag

I recently tested this Angelina Bag, by Imazz Patterns. When I first saw the photo of her bag I thought it had an interesting look with all those zippers on the front of the bag. It's a very stylish looking bag and intriguing with the zippers, which essentially is just a pocket, but it allows you to unzip any of the zippers for access to the contents inside the pocket. As a tester for a new bag sometimes I might hit a few bumps along the road and have to try and work it out a different way for the bag to come together. I made some mistakes that were my own and there was also a problem of a measurement that wasn't correct. Imazz ending up making a second bag to see what I was talking about and found an incorrect cutting measurement, which of course she corrected! It's things that happen like this which is the reason that bag designers need people to test their bag designs and work out all the bugs before they publish their pattern.

I managed to adjust a few things on the bag so that it turned into a bag and not just a pile of sewn pieces, LOL!!! Aren't you glad that if you purchase a pattern from Imazz or other designers, that the item was tested and changes were made so you can just follow the instructions and sew? It sure made me use my "little gray cells" as Poirot would say.

I showed this bag to some of the women in my sewing group and they thought it was fabulous looking. I think so too. If you would like to make this bag you can purchase the pattern from Imazz Patterns Craftsy store or Etsy store. The introductory price is only $4.99! That's a great price! Click on the link so you can see the beautiful bags Imazz made. The black and white version and the purple and pink version are both gorgeous!

I usually decide on the fabric first when making a bag, but since I needed several zippers to create the front pockets, I decided I better look at the zipper colors first and see if I had enough zippers in certain colors in order to make this bag. Since I had enough zippers in off-white to brown colors, I chose to use those zippers. Then I had to find a fabric that would look good with the zippers. It turned out that the fabric I chose is perfect for this time of the year. Very winter looking. Okay enough blabbing from me. Here is my Angelina bag:

I added some coin charms on the zipper pulls.
I had a zipper for the back of the bag that was long enough, but it was a very wide zipper. I used it but in doing so I wasn't able to make the concealed flap over the zipper work quite right, so my zipper is exposed and not concealed as in the pattern. It still works fine.
I also chose to sew my zippers using a decorative zigzag stitch, rather than a straight stitch. 

Because of the incorrect measurement I cut on the exterior of the bag bottom, the lining bottom turned out a bit baggy. It won't show once there are things inside the bag.
I sewed a pen pocket in the center of my slip pocket.

This was my mistake here. I misread the instructions and made my zipper in the pocket piece instead of the main lining piece. So I ended up with the zipper in the center of the pocket. I ended up turning this into a zippered pocket with a slip pocket behind. The zippered pocket should be part of the the main lining piece!  Well no one's perfect, LOL!!! This is an optional pocket anyhow.
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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Fabric Vase With Embroidered Stitches

I had done some machine embroidery stitches on a black fabric a few months ago. Not actually sure what I was going to make with it. Then I got an idea to turn the stitched fabric into a fabric vase to give to a sweet friend of mine. There are several photos below to show the 4 sides of the vase and see how it looks on each side. A lot of the pretty stitches ended up getting cut off or sewn into seams, but that's what happens when you aren't sure what to do with piece in the first place.
I created 2 pieces of fabric with machine decorative stitches and couched yarn. I cut one of them up to create the fabric vase I made below.
I added several hot fix crystals to the vase on each side.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Table Runner

I asked my sister if there was anything that she wanted this holiday season and she said she wanted some holiday table runners. She wanted Christmas the most, so I made her a table runner for Christmas that I designed and made up myself. I used all scraps (except I did have about 3/4 yard of the Christmas Tree fabric). I personalized it for her family too. I mailed this off to her the day before Thanksgiving and said to open it now so she could use it. She told me she loved it. Now I will be making other holiday table runners for her for throughout the year.
I wrote their names on the ornaments, but placed some purposely upside down so that if you sit on one side of the table you can read 2 names.
This way you can read 3 names.
I wasn't sure about writing on the rickrack, so I tried a test piece first, and it worked fine, even though a bit bumpy to write.

When making this I wasn't sure if I would have enough of the red fabric (that I paired with the Christmas Tree fabric) for the half-square triangles, so I made some triangles with other red scraps I had. But it turned out I had plenty of the red, so I turned those extra triangles into pinwheels and decided to use those on the back. I also wanted to use up the rest of the tree fabric too. So I sewed some fabric strips here and there to make it large enough and created this backing for the runner.
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Friday, December 11, 2015

Quilt For My Birthday

A good friend of mine not only surprised me on my birthday in November with a lovely surprise party at her house, but she also made me a very special wall quilt just for me! I absolutely love this quilt with all the special little details she added. I have this hung in front of my sewing machine so I can look at it as I sew. Thank you so much Bobbie!!! Isn't this adorable?
My birthday quilt made by my friend, Bobbie. That's me sewing up a storm, LOL!!

Look at the earrings and necklace and the headband, too cute. I usually do have pins in my mouth too LOL!!!
Those are tiny batik fabric nine patches plus hand embroidered flowers!
Bobbie even copied my little signature with the hearts and embroidered it.
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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hand Knit Socks Made From My Hand Dyed Yarn

I dyed several skeins of sock (fingering) weight yarn last year. I knit a scarf using some of the yarn I dyed that you can see here. I just finished knitting these pair of socks. They came out great and I love how they feel and fit. I knit the cuff first and then I added a nylon thread along with the yarn and held them together to knit the heel to the toe. The nylon gives added strength to the sock yarn in those places that might eventually get holes. I used a gray nylon thread so it makes the rest of the foot look kind of heather looking.
The entire foot is knit with the added gray nylon held together with the yarn. The foot looks a bit lighter because of the addition of the gray thread. At least it does to me in person, lol!!!
I knit the cuff with the yarn I hand dyed. It's a rib knit of knit 2, purl 2.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Catch All Caddy #4

Here is the 4th Catch All Caddy I made (an Annie Unrein pattern). I had an all day (9:30AM-12:30AM) sewing day with a friend of mine who wanted to make a fabulous Catch All Caddy for herself. I had already made 3 of them, so I decided I would make this one for another friend who had a birthday in November. I also made a matching scissors cozy (a free tutorial by S.o.t.a.k Handmade). I made a scissors cozy for myself to match one of my Catch All Caddies too. I was about to post this over a week ago and suddenly realized that I didn't have any photos! What??? At least my friend is close by and she brought the caddy to my house so I could get a few photos taken of it so I can now post it here.
Catch All Caddy has lots of pockets on the front, back and even the sides, plus inside is loaded with pockets too.
Roomy inside the caddy with lots of pockets and the matching scissors cozy inside too.
Matching Scissors Cozy.
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Friday, December 4, 2015

Brandt's Blvd. Wallet

The second Easy Street Pattern by ChrisW Designs is Brandt's Blvd. which is a wallet. The wallet has an optional removable wrist strap. I chose the option of not making the wrist strap. This wallet even has a pocket to fit your phone (I don't have a mobile phone) or you can use the pocket for receipts and things. I love this style and that it was easy to sew and looks fabulous. I will be making some more of these wallets.

The pattern calls for using a thumb catch closure, but I do not have any of those and do not want to buy a bunch if I am not sure if I will ever use them again. I resisted buying twist lock closures for a long time when everyone was using twist lock closures for bags and waited to use them in a bag only to find that designers were now using thumb catch closures or flip closures. So since I have a lot of twist locks, magnetic snaps and other snaps, I will use those and not buy more closures because chances are there will be another new closure type coming out....and well it gets too expensive and I need to use up what I have already. But those closures the testers used are very pretty and if you do need to buy a closure to make this wallet then you can decide on the type of closure you want to use that will look the best with your fabric choices. Okay enough babbling on from me, LOL!!! On with my version:
I used a snap color that went with this wallet nicely. I added some serpentine stitching down the center of the flap/tab closure too.
The outside opened up so you can see it all.
The inside all opened. There is a zippered coin pocket, 4 credit card slots, and I.D. pocket with a clear window. Behind the I.D./credit card slots is a large pocket for cash. Above the zippered coin pocket is the phone or receipt pocket. And there is even a pocket behind the zippered pocket too.
My "handmade" zipper pull that I made.

My New Mexico driver license. Well you all know how awful those driver license photos are, LOL!!!

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