Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bloom Blocks From Lori Holt's Sew Along

I have been joining in the Bloom Sew Along with Lori Holt from Bee in My Bonnet. I made the first 6 applique flowers blocks, but as most of you know me by now, I made my own changes. I decided to make my blocks the fusible applique method (instead of sewing it with interfacing and turning the pieces). I am sewing my appliques with machine embroidery stitches around the edges. I am not sewing on the borders around each block as Lori is doing because I am not sure how I want to set the quilt, or if I even want to make one quilt. I may decide to use these blocks to make a couple of table runners (or a round table topper, since my table is round). For now I am enjoying just making the blocks. I am using only fabrics in my scrap bags for the applique too.

Here are my first 6 Bloom applique blocks:
Block 1

Block 2

Block 3

Block 4. I used a smaller template to make the leaves because Lori's leaves were too large and looked off-balance to me. I like my smaller leaves better.

Close-up of Block 5

Block 5

Close-up of Block 6

Block 6

Click to get to the Sew Along
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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Diamond Jewels Quilt

I finished this lap quilt last month. I used the X-Block ruler to create this quilt. I chose batik fabrics in aqua, turquoise, and orange and white and cream fabrics in regular cotton fabric. I didn't add a border, just sewed on the binding. The X-Block ruler allows you to sew blocks and then cut them with the ruler to create a more complex looking block. The cut off pieces are supposed to be saved and used for the border. I didn't really want a border so I didn't use those cut off pieces. I backed the quilt with a soft flannel fabric. I gave this quilt to my husband and he loves it.

I want to try making some other quilts using the X-Block ruler because it is fun and there are some great looking quilts that you can get from using this ruler.

I quilted the colorful batik sections only. With all those seams it felt a bit like I was jack-hammering!!! So I only quilted along the edge of the white fabrics.

Soft flannel for the backing.
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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Iron Caddy

A friend of mine made a cute iron caddy a few years ago and I thought it was not only cute, but useful too. I borrowed her pattern to make one of my own. Well as cute as this is, the instructions weren't all that clear and there were only a few tiny photos. I had to borrow my friend's finished iron caddy to figure out how to finish making it. Even my friend said the instructions were hard to understand, but when she did figure it out, she went ahead and made about 4 more right away. I looked at her finished caddy and then sewed mine together my own way and didn't even use the instructions.

I also made some changes. I didn't add the ruffle on my iron caddy because it was more work and because I thought the ruffle would get in the way of zipping and unzipping the caddy. I also didn't do the embroidered section because it seemed like a lot of work and you really wouldn't see it (especially if I had added the ruffle). I used a foam stabilizer to give this caddy some structure, rather than using batting. I do like the foam stabilizer so much better. I also sewed a bias binding inside to cover the raw edges. As an afterthought, I sewed a couple of ribbon tabs at each end of the zipper to have something to hold on to when zipping this caddy open and closed.

I wanted to keep one of my irons inside this caddy to keep it dust-free. Well the iron I wanted to store inside this caddy, ended up not fitting inside the caddy! I guess my iron was a tad too long. So I ended up putting my travel iron inside it instead.

The pattern shows a ruffle all the way around above the zipper. I suppose it looks like a slice of cake with the ruffle and the layers of different colored fabric. But to keep mine simple and avoid the ruffle from getting caught in the zipper, I opted to go ruffle-free, lol!!!

I ended up storing my travel iron inside the caddy, because the iron I wanted to store inside was a tad too long!

I took these photos several weeks ago when we had a dusting of snow.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Knit Hat

I knit this hat using up some leftover wool yarn I had. I started knitting a ton of scarves using up novelty yarns (I have yet to photograph them, but soon) and plan on giving them to charity near the end of this year. I figured 2016 would be the year of the scarf for charity giving and then I would start knitting hats with other yarn I have in a variety of sizes. It would be a fun way to test out some hat patterns too. I didn't bother to knit gauge for this hat, because I figured it was bound to fit someone from child to adult. I am using the correct size knitting needles to yarn size, so that I won't be way off from gauge.

I haven't blocked this hat yet either. I thought I may as well wait until I have knit a few and block them at the same time. I found this Styrofoam head at a thrift store. I have been wanting something to photograph hats. I did notice that this Styrofoam head is smaller than a real human adult head. Now I hope that I can find something to photograph scarves better besides my dress form. That dress form is large and a bit of a pain to take outside to photograph things. But since I do have a ton of scarves to photograph, I may take the dress form outside to do a photo shoot one day soon, as long as it's not too windy.

I used 3 yarns. Started with the navy blue and then I switched to the dark gray and then the lighter gray at the top because I didn't have enough of the darker gray to finish the hat. I just love the tops of knit hats that have this swirling look in the decreases.

You can see the 3 yarn colors here. This hat also used a few different stitches, which was more fun to knit.
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Monday, February 15, 2016

I've Been Featured!

Not only did Pam from Threading My Way, featured my Mondrian Quilt Top, but I am the featured blog this week too! Thanks Pam! Sometimes I forget to add some of my creations to her linky posts, but when I do remember Pam features what I made a lot of time, so I should remember to add them. Pam is a sweetheart and makes a lot of wonderful things herself when she is not featuring what others have made. So please pop on over to see all the featured creations from other bloggers too.

Threading My Way_Featured
Click to see my quilt featured.

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Creative & Functional Ways You Can Use Binder Clips

I just saw this video showing the top 15 ways to use binder clips. So much fun and so cheap too! You can buy the standard black larger size binder clips at the Dollar stores or if you want colors or prints the office supply stores have them in fun colors and even prints, although they will cost you more money. Or you can decorate them yourself using Washi Tape, Duct Tape prints, fancy papers or fabric and some Mod Podge to seal them. So many fun and useful ideas out there!

  1. Here is a link for 54 Uses for Binder Clips.
  2. Here are a dozen more uses for binder clips
  3. 16 more here.
And since I make a lot of handbags, check out these binder clip handbags that I found pinned on Pinterest:
From Pinterest: little handbags made from binder clips! So cute.

I have started a Pinterest Board for Binder Clips after seeing so many useful and fun ideas.
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Friday, February 12, 2016

Let it Snow Block #1

I made this first Let it Snow Block #1 in about one day. I embroidered it all by hand and used flannel that looks like wool for the applique. I really like this one and it was fun to make. Block #2 should be up next Friday. I love how she gives you the applique blocks and the reversed applique pieces too, so not as much work for me to do. Since this is a mystery BOM, I won't know what the other blocks will look like for sure, but this first block is a good indication that I know I will like them all.
Block #1
I made my moon a bit wider and changed the colors too. I added lots of French knots as well.

Block #1

Block #1

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Trio of Scissors Cases

The Tulip Scissors Case is a free pattern on Craftsy by CloBird. It was rated as a novice project and while the instructions and photos are very good and clear, I struggled so much with the dang zipper!!!! I have made 100's of bags with zippers and never had a problem with a zipper like I did with this scissors case. You see, you need to remove the metal zipper pull and stop off the zipper and you end up using one half of the zipper, which gets folded in half and then you need to feed the metal pull back on the 2 ends of the zipper. And that's where the problem is trying to put back the metal pull onto the zipper teeth. The first side seems to go in a lot easier and faster than the second side. I worked for more than 30 minutes to get the zipper pull onto the zipper teeth! The teeth would start to pull away from the zipper tape and I had to trim the zipper teeth neat and tidy and try this again, and again and again, etc.... I finally had nothing left of the zipper teeth to put into the metal pull, so then I had to rip it out and re-do it. Which meant ripping out the top-stitching, then ripping out the lining and finally ripping out the zipper from the exterior fabric. Then starting over with a new long zipper sewing it to the exterior, then the lining and top-stitching again. I was cursing and getting so frustrated with this project!!!

While this is a very cute scissors case and there are 3 sizes you can make, I certainly would not rate this a beginner project, especially if this is your first attempt at sewing in a zipper, because you might not want to sew another zipper ever. I don't know if a particular zipper brand would have worked better or easier or if I had some bad zippers, but how would I have known this? While she does tell you to take your time doing the zipper, she doesn't tell you that your zipper teeth might separate from the zipper tape like mine did. I am sure it was easy for her to do, but I just want to warn you in advance that if you have never sewn a zipper before, don't start with this project. You need patience and time to get this to work. Maybe you will be lucky and get the zipper pull to work quickly. The first case I made was the largest one and that one went together much quicker. The 2 smaller ones took so much time and ripping out. Could I be the only one making these cases that had trouble with the zippers? Who knows? Maybe it's just me. I am glad this pattern was free, but I ruined a couple of zippers just trying to make these cases. Just wanted to give a heads up on the zippers. I won't be sewing any more zippers that I need to take apart first and then put back together later. It's just not my thing. Anyone else who made these scissors cases, did you struggle with the zipper? Just curious.

They did turn out cute and useful.
This is the largest size case and has a zippered top pocket to hold your largest scissors and there is a front and back slip pocket to hold your smaller scissors or other sewing tools.
Smaller scissors can go in the outside pocket and some tweezers fit nicely too.
You can put your scissors inside the zippered pocket.
Or you can put your scissors on the outside pocket or other tools like seam rippers or a small ruler, etc.
I made a zipper pull using beads and a scissors charm I had.
These are the 2 smaller scissors cases. The one on the left is the Baby and the one on the right is the Passport. On these 2 cases I decided to bind the 2 edges rather than sewing them like I did for the larger case and having to turn them right-side-out. It was a bit of a wrestle to turn the larger one with all the thick layers. Besides, after my zippers were finally sewn, I just wanted to be done with this project!
I added some scissors charms to the zipper pulls I made for these two cases also.
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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Six Fabric Wrapped Clothesline Bowls

I made 6 more fabric bowls. I used some scraps leftover from the patriotic fabrics I had to make the first bowl and I used scraps of fabric from the king size batik quilt top I recently made too on some of the bowls.
I used leftover fabrics from the patriotic banner I made plus some other scrap fabrics to make this bowl.

I used scraps of batiks leftover from making the batik king size quilt to make this bowl.

I used batiks scraps to make this bowl. Some were from the king size quilt and some were other batik scraps.

I used scraps to make this bowl too.

Here is another batik bow made from scraps leftover from the king size quilt, plus a few other batik scraps as well.

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