Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Selvage Baskets

A few weeks go I taught a class in how to sew selvages my way at my quilt group. I had no idea how many people would sign up for the class. I was thinking it would be less than 10, so when 28 people signed up I was blown away! The day of the class 27 actually showed up too!

I made kits up that included the materials needed to make a mug rug to get the concept of the sewing and then we moved on to making a selvage basket. I showed a lot of my tips and tricks for making the basket and later several women told me it was new to them the way I did several things and they learned a lot and had fun. That was nice to hear.

I wrote a pdf on how to make the mug rugs and baskets, showing 4 ways to lay out the selvages. It is a step-by-step tutorial that I am now selling the pdf on Makerist here. There are a lot of tips in the basket making construction I share with you and also my way of sewing the selvages is different from anything I have seen online before. This all came about from trying new things until I found a way that worked and worked so well and was easy and fun to do too. It's not what you see, but in the construction method. The pdf was very time consuming to create as I do step-by-step photos and written instructions and it's very long (55 pages), so I do suggest you read it on your tablet or computer and not print it out.

I have decided this will be the last pdf I ever create because it takes way too much time to do and I just don't sell many pdf's at all, even though I have several at Makerist (since Craftsy deleted most of mine). I also have a lot of free tutorials there as well. My last pdf I wrote for the fabric folder hardly made it worth writing since I sold less than 5 since I created it. There are just too many pdf's to choose from out there and prices are all over the place and I get that we are all so busy to make it all and we want free things and even then we don't make them all even if they are free. I don't have the knowledge or graphic programs to create my pdf's using graphics (I use photos) and I tend to write probably more than I need to.

I so much prefer to do the actual making of something, whether it is using a tutorial or pattern of my own or someone else or just creating as I go, which is what I do most of the time. I would rather sell my bags and quilted things on Etsy and craft shows than to write patterns for others. I know a lot of people are pretty successful writing patterns, but I am not one of them and I gave it a pretty good effort. My first paper pattern and then made pdf was my Alphabet Quilt pattern that I made and designed in the year 2000 and then updated it a couple of years ago. Since updating it, I sold a whopping 2 patterns and even then it took over a year for a sale. So after 19 years and so few sales of any pdf, I am no longer creating patterns. I will still sell what I have on Makerist, or should I say "try" to sell them? They do have sales and I will participate in some of their sales, but not all of them and not all of my pdf's will be on sale.

I say this not as sour grapes or anything, but as reality and a learning experience. I gave it a good effort for a number of years and so that's all I could do was my best and I did and I feel good about that. But as the saying goes, "Do what you love" and what I love is to create bags and quilts and knitting. Whether I sell some, keep some and give some away, it is what I love to do and that I hope will continue for the time I have left.

As I enter into my 12 year of blogging here, I also will continue to blog as long as I continue to love it. I hope I can encourage and inspire my readers with my creations. I know a lot of you have been followers for a long time and I know a lot of followers have come and gone too for whatever reasons, so I guess I don't have the kind of blog that everyone wants to follow, and that's okay I get it, we all have certain things we like or not. Blogging has become such a dinosaur anyhow, so I suspect that blogging could end up being a thing of the past at any time. I will continue blogging for as long as there are blogs or until I get tired of it, whichever comes first. I may just slow down on the blogging, but again, depends on how I feel at the moment.

I really don't care for Facebook or Instagram all that much either. I gave them both a try too, but I spend so much time online and for what? A like? Who really cares? I guess if I had a business I would have to be in your face all the time, but I have a hobby that I love, not a business, so I will probably abandon those 2 social medias too. Wasn't life easier and simpler and more enjoyable before all these gadgets to make our lives (so-called) easier? I found this quote on Pinterest and love it! (I do like Pinterest for great ideas).

I love this quote! So true! I feel like my parents talking about the good ol days, but I long for a simpler life.

Okay, I sure got off track!!! LOL!!! Now back to selvage baskets.

I made 3 baskets for the examples of my class (and pdf).

I didn't show how to make the taller one in the middle, but the other 2. I did however give choices of how to set the direction of the selvages: vertical, horizontal, diagonal and double diagonal. Shown here are 2 horizontal and one double diagonal.

I guess I wasn't thinking correctly when I did this as the one diagonal direction I accidentally set upside down! This is the back side of the basket.

Side view of one side.

Side view of the other side.

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Monday, March 25, 2019

String Quilts!

It's time for the All About Strings Blog Hop, hosted by Carla of Creatin' in the Sticks. Thanks Carla for hosting this!

I do love making string quilts of all kinds because it is a great way to use up scraps, which multiply and grow like rabbits! Plus I love scrappy looking quilts. I made a few string projects and started by grabbing my green and then blue bags that are stuffed full of scraps of those colors. I barely made a dent in my scraps bags, but I got some nice items made. I do love to share lots of photos (and I love to see others who share lots of photos too) so if you don't, then scroll fast to the end to find the schedule for all of the String Quilt participants for the week.

First off I made a simple quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) table runner out of strings. Greens for March (St. Patrick's Day, even though it's past and Spring time).

Next, I made a String Table Runner, which is made up of blocks sewn together in blues and greens.

Quilted in a wavy line grid.

I made another Arabesque Bag (Sew Sweetness pattern) @ 90% in blues and greens too. I love making this bag using strings in whatever colors I have. Plus I have made this bag at 100%-90%-80% sizes too.

On my dress form to show the scale of the the bag.

This is the back of the bag. I added a zippered pocket.

Front of the bag. I quilted this in a large wavy pattern.

A slip pocket inside the bag.

Next is a string quilt drying pad I made for my dishes that I wash. We just remodeled our kitchen and I wanted a pop of color and needed a drying pad, since I wash dishes by hand. I didn't want a drying rack set up all the time in the way. I used foam stabilizer instead of batting as it doesn't soak up the water as much and that is what drying mats are made out of when you buy them at the store too.I made this a double diagonal string quilt in bright colors.

Drying pad for my dishes in a double diagonal string. Quilted in wavy lines.
Here is the pad with my Fiesta Ware dishes (and more) drying on it.

The back of the drying pad is this coffee print (an old Debbie Mumm fabric design I had), so it could be reversible too. 
I hope you enjoyed seeing all my projects (yes I know I love lots of photos!). But there are more string projects yet to see, so please drop by and get inspired by all these other bloggers.

Monday, March 25th

Tuesday, March 26th

Wednesday, March 27th

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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Cross Body Bag with Cat Appliques

I am so behind in posting that I forgot to post this one. I was commissioned to make a bag with cats and this is what I came up with. I love these applique cats. I quilted the bag rather heavily. I used the Convertible Tote pattern by Sew Can She, but of course I made several changes. I love these colors together: purple and turquoise.

I added 2 cats on the front of the bag. 

I made strap tabs for the side and added 4 rivets. I like how the 4 rivets look.

Stacked buttons for the cat eyes.

This cat has blue eyes.

The back of the bag I added a zippered pocket.

Inside I added a slip pocket divided with a pen pocket and I added a cat applique on the pocket too. I made the pockets large,  but  I forgot about boxing the corners so the pockets are a bit in the corner. 

Meow! I love this fat cat, so cute.

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Chevron Knit Scarf

I knit this scarf in a Chevron stitch using a variegated wool blend yarn in browns with a touch of blue. I love knitting the Chevron pattern because it's easy, but it looks great! These photos were taken indoors a few months ago because it was too cold to go outside and dragging Fanny around is not so easy to do. So the photos are not the best indoors.

Fanny is modeling the scarf. She is also wearing a knit beret I made over 35 years ago! The beret is a mohair/silk blend and so soft.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Multi-Colored Knit Scarf

I knit this scarf using a multi-colored yarn. I think it is an acrylic yarn. I love the colors of this yarn! I have been wearing this scarf every morning that I walk in the cold weather. I knit this and took photos before I had my model, Fanny.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Batik Yarn Bag

I made this yarn bag using strips of batiks. The pattern is a tutorial from Lorelai Jayne. It is the kind of bag you are supposed to wear on your forearm and if you want to you can walk and knit (or crochet) as it's on your arm. The top handle part of the bag is a bit too wide though if you prefer to grab and carry in your hand. This bag is a bit smaller than the other 2 yarn bags I made recently (the Llama print and the Selvage yarn bags). I used a different pattern for those other yarn bags and I like the other size and handle better. Still this yarn bag is nice and great looking in batik fabric, of course!

I added a front pocket to the bag. 

I also added a pocket to the back of the back as well as the front. I quilted the bag in wavy lines.

Bottom of bag.

Inside is a slip pocket on one side.

Across from the slip pocket, I also added a zippered pocket. 

I Donated this bag to raise funds for Alzheimer's Disease in 2022.

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