Thursday, May 12, 2022

Table Runner: Orange Flowers with Blue Orange Peel

Hello Sunshine! I had cut out blocks to make this table runner a couple of years ago. The plan was to have this to work on at my appliqué group. Then of course Covid put a stop to us meeting. We haven't met together for over 2 years now. I finished this runner in January, so it has taken me a while to even share this with you.

I took the appliqué flowers from a quilt pattern I had (don't ask me what pattern because I don't know what I did with it) and I added some Orange Peel blocks in between the flowers. Ironic that the orange peel blocks are in blue, lol!

That orange and yellow flower fabric came from my mom's quilt shop from the mid 1970's. My sister gave me that fabric just a few years ago after mom passed away. I had the same fabric in a blue colorway. I guess mom must have given us each some fabrics from her shop after she closed it. My sister never made quilts, but did sew clothing.

Not having a table to take photos on makes photographing things like this rather challenging. We have a small round table, 50's style with a red top, so I have to try different photo angles outside. I think you get the idea.

I will be listing this in my PayHip Shop later this week. Interested in buying it? Email me and I will discuss it with you.

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Saturday, May 7, 2022

Handknit Dishcloth/Washcloths

Hello beautiful knitters and non-knitters too. I was recently commissioned to knit 6 dishcloths/washcloths for a friend. 

If you knit, most likely you have made a dishcloth before and the most popular dishcloth is knit on the diagonal, adding increases until to reach the halfway point and then you start decreasing until you have just a few stitches left. It is a great way to teach a new knitter how to increase and decrease, but I personally do not like that dishcloth pattern as it ends up misshaped and isn't as thick and tightly knit. 

Years ago I found a pattern on Ravelry for a Waffle Knit dishcloth and made quite a few to use up the miscellaneous partial balls of cotton yarn I had, joining together 2 or more yarn colors to create a dishcloth (although I use them as washcloths in the shower for myself). I cast on fewer stitches because I was using a worsted weight instead of the DK weight yarn, since I didn't want the cloths to end up being too large. But in casting on fewer stitches, it must have also changed the waffle pattern a bit as I was knitting it. It didn't actually look like a waffle stitch, but I really like the stitch it did create, so I just knit them my way. I knew this was the dishcloth pattern I was going to knit for my friend, Cenia. 

I saw her last Sunday to give them to her and she seemed very pleased with them. Happy dishwashing Cenia!

I had a cone of this brown, white and pink variegated cotton yarn and made all 6 out of this yarn. It's fun to watch how the pattern changes a bit with where the colors end up in each dishcloth. I love the soft spongy thick feel of these dishcloths. The colors remind me of Neapolitan ice cream, lol!

I took the photo after I made 5 dishcloths and then I finished the last dishcloth. Since they are all the same, I didn't need to photograph the last one.

I stacked them all on top of one another here.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Sew Powerful Purses #73-78 (for 2022)

Hello my sweet butterflies, I have 6 more purses to show you that I am donating to the Sew Powerful Purse Project. 4 of them I upcycled some denim jeans to make them, which is fun to do and makes for a great purse too. I may just have to make one of these purses for myself one day in upcycled denim jeans (only I would need to make mine a bit larger to hold my stuff). 

I had cut out several appliqué shapes years ago that I used some in projects, but there were a lot that I didn't use, so it was time to find a home for some of the butterflies I had already cut and fused and were ready to be stitched onto something. The crumb pieced yellow and orange background fabric I also had stitched a few years ago and I thought they would make cheerful purse flaps by themselves, but when I was auditioning the butterflies on several purse flaps, the patchwork backgrounds here were the ones that just looked the best. So those pretty butterflies flew on top and there they stayed. 

The main body of the purses are from denim jeans I upcycled. I used the front pockets again as the back of the purse and my daughter's jeans were just the right size to be able to use the back pocket for the center purse above. Mostly I have been using husband's jeans and being larger the back pockets are just too large to add anywhere on these purses, so they will be used in other projects. (Maybe that larger version for me? We'll see). I thought it looked fun to be able to leave the waistband and a belt loop on the 2 purses. The pockets didn't sit up as high on the back by leaving the waistband in. I had cut it off on the first ones I made. I am always experimenting and learning.

This is also an upcycled denim jean purse. I used some leftover denim pieces to create the patchwork flap and the light fabric where the buttons are sewed to is the lining of the purse.

Lots of  calico fabrics in this purse. Can we call these fabrics vintage? They seem vintage now to me.

Another patchwork flap with a few buttons. This flap as well as the 2 above this one are sewn crazy quilt style, but without adding all the fancy stitches as in a true crazy quilt. Maybe one flap I just might stitch some machine stitches over the crazy pieces flap. It might be fun to try that.

I am working on about 7 more purses right now too. Most are nearly done. I like to sew with the matching thread color like blue thread on blue purse pieces and pick out all the pieces that need to be sewn with blue thread and sew those. Then if I need to switch to another thread color I do and I finish all the pieces with that thread color. So I usually have purses in various stages of completion, but it makes it easier not to have to keep changing thread colors for each purse and eventually all the purses get done.
Happy stitching my friends.

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Thursday, April 28, 2022

Gifts for Her: a Sew Powerful Purse

Hello my sweet purse makers; it's Gifts for Her week over on the Therm-o-Web blog. I am sharing a few of my tips on making a purse from The Sew Powerful Purse Project for yourself or to donate to this wonderful charity that allows girls in Zambia to stay in school with your help of making purses to donate to the girls there. You can read all about this organization and the work they do here.

The finished Intermediate style purse with the beginner flap that I decorated with appliqué flowers & circles.

Making purses for Sew Powerful is something near and dear to my heart and I LOVE to sew the purses every chance I get. I hope you will enjoy making one or more purses too. There is no better gift to give than one that can change a girl's life for the better.

Isn't my Oliso iron in turquoise just so pretty? I just love it!

I upcycled denim jeans to make the outside of the purse and put the front pocket on the back of the purse. I topstitched the gusset too.

One of my tips is that I make a full lining (rather than adding a separate top fabric, as the intermediate directions call for) as it is quicker to sew.

So pop over to the Therm-o-web blog to check out my Sew Powerful Purse and all of the tips I share on how I make these purses.

I used Crafter's Edge Large Flower die cut for the appliqué flower and a few Circle die cuts too, including the circle I cut to create a flower appliqué. You can find my tutorial for the circle flower here.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Cross Body Bag (reduced in size)

Hello everyone. I wanted to try making this Cross Body Bag again, but in a reduced size as it was quite large when I made it the original size. I only reduced it by 10%, but it was enough to make a difference. This is a pdf pattern from So Sew Easy, called Cross Body Bag. Not a very distinctive name, but it is worn across the body. 

When I made this bag the first time, I loved all the pockets it had: A slip and zipper pocket under the flap, a slip and zipper pocket on the back, a couple of slip pockets inside and a zipper pocket. That's 7 or more pockets, depending on if you divide the inside pockets, which I did for a pen pocket, giving me 8 pockets.

The original size of this bag is 10" wide, by 11 1/2" tall, by 2" deep. This reduced size is about 9" wide x 10 3/8" high x 1 3/4" deep.

Close up of the front. I love that pretty blue fabric with touches of aqua and purple.

The side of the bag. I added rivets and strap ends on the connector strap, along with a rectangle ring to connect the main strap.

The flap up reveals the snap closure and a cute label I add to all my bags (I started adding them in the past year).

Looking down into the bag, I have my large wallet, reader glasses, pen, keys and a couple of small things in the pocket.

The back of the bag here shows the zipper pocket and the slip pocket is behind it.

Looking down into the slip pocket on the outside of the bag, where my keys are, but it is a perfect place to hold a cell phone too.

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Sunday, April 24, 2022

Trina Knit Jacket

This is the Trina Jacket pattern by Fleece Artist. I love their patterns. They are easy to follow and look great. Unfortunately, this pattern is no longer available as you can see here

Trina uses 3 yarns to create this jacket. I had 2 different mohair yarn already, a lavender shade and a variegated thicker mohair in a reddish purple to darker purple shade. Since the mohair can be slightly itchy and has those fine fibers that are fuzzy, I needed a third yarn that was not a mohair like yarn and found a Red Heart brand Roll With it Mélange variegated yarn called Autograph at Hobby Lobby that had purple, a blue and gray color in it that blended nicely with the mohair I had. (I found it online here too). I bought 2 of the Roll With it Mélange skeins of yarn not knowing if I would need to use the second one or not. I had quite a bit of the yarn leftover and didn't need to use the second skein at all. There is a lot of yardage in those skeins or maybe they are called cakes? I can't keep up with all the terms anymore.

I decided to knit the small size and after I blocked it, it fit nicely. I will add a shawl pin when wearing this as it is open in the front. I knit the sleeve length to about a 3/4 sleeve length as I like that length the best. 

The sleeves are knit with the Mélange yarn and the lavender mohair only. I used just the Mélange yarn for the neck and front area. The body is knit with all three yarns that alternate every 3rd row.

The back side of the jacket.

This jacket is knit in garter stitch for the body and stockinette stitch on the sleeves and the front band/neck area.
I am all set for fall now. 

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Saturday, April 23, 2022

Sew Powerful Purses #63-71 for 2022

Hello Sweet Purse Makers. I am here to show you 9 more purses that I made for the Sew Powerful Purse Project. For these purses, I used brown fabrics that I had in smaller cuts from a fat quarter to larger scraps. I used brown webbing for all of the straps. 

First, I like to cut the exterior fabrics: the front and back and the top narrow front and back pieces, the front pocket and the gusset. Then if I have enough of that fabric left, I will cut a back slip pocket too. Oftentimes when cutting the gusset, I will not have a long enough piece, so I cut the gusset in 2 pieces (plus I add a seam allowance) and then sew the 2 gusset pieces together. This allows me to use shorter fabric pieces and I automatically know where the center of the gusset is because there is the seam line. I topstitch on each side of the gusset seam too.

Next, I cut the lining main pieces (which I prefer to cut as one piece, rather than cut 2 pieces as the intermediate purse instructions have you do). It saves time not having to cut and then piece the top part on the lining, which is another step to do and it's only seen by the girl who chooses the purse. If I do not have enough fabric to cut the lining pieces, I will cut 2 different fabrics or piece the lining fabric to make it large enough. I will cut the pocket lining and the flap lining pieces next. If they are not the same fabric as the main lining fabrics, that is fine as it adds more interest for the girl to see all the different fabrics that were used in creating the purse and only she will see the lining. Again, if I don't have a large enough piece, I will piece it,

Last, but not not least, I will cut a foundation fabric like muslin or flannel and cut it slightly larger and then create the flap by piecing fabrics to the foundation. The foundation is used instead of interfacing as it is a bit sturdier, especially after I piece the flap. I often just piece the flap in a crumb or string no rules way, rather than piece a specific quilt block. That way it sews quicker and I can use up any scrap I like. Once the piecing is done and pressed, I quilt the piece and finally I like to add a pop of color to the flap by blanket stitching an appliqué like a flower, heart, or something else to the flap. Usually I do not have enough exterior fabric left to cut a flap piece and this way I use up scraps from the current purse I am sewing, but also some scraps from other purses I am making too. I will add a bit of the lining fabric to the purse flap too, whether it is in the same color family or not. By piecing the flaps I am able to use up a lot of scraps that are leftover from the cutting of the rest of the purse. I may take a bit more time to create the flap in this manner, but I get to be creative too, which I love. Once the appliqué has been sewn in place, I give the flap a press and then cut the flap out to the size in the pattern. The last thing I do before sewing the lining to the flap is to add any embellishments such as buttons, lace, trim, rickrack, hand embroidery, etc.

Back pocket
I added a back slip pocket to all of these purses, but am only showing you 2. The pocket matches the exterior fabric. By adding a back pocket, there are 2 pockets: one under the flap at the front of the purse and one here on the back. The intermediate purse has no inside pocket, so it makes it quicker to sew.

Back Pocket on purse
Another back pocket.

I used a 5 sided piece of fabric to start the piecing on this flap and liked how it looked, so opted to not add any appliqué, but just keep the crazy quilt look instead. Added buttons was all it needed.

For this flower, I first pieced yellow scraps together to create a larger piece and then used a flower die cut to cut out this flower. Piecing the flower first gave it a different look.

Close up of the scrappy yellow appliqué flower
Closer look at the pieced then appliqué flower. I pieced several yellow blocks like this, so I can cut more scrappy flowers for more flaps.

Most of the appliqué I used above were things I had cut out years ago to use on other things I was making, but I didn't use them for one reason or another, so I put them in a box and thought I might use them for something else. Well, it sure saved time having so many appliqué shapes already fused and cut ahead of time.

We need to include a notecard in the front pocket of each purse we make too, so I created some notecards using some of the fused appliqué I had already too. They make nice notecards with fabric appliqué on the front. I have enough scraps of fabric and with die cuts I can cut up a lot of shapes to be used for the cards as well. I will share the notecards I made on a blog post another day.

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Friday, April 22, 2022

Gingham Tea & Friends: Tea Cozy Shaped Wall Quilt

It's Gingham week over on the Therm-O-web blog. So I created this tea cozy shaped wall quilt using Crafter's Edge Tea Time die cuts and 1/2 Square Triangle die cut too; along with HeatnBond® Lite for fusing the appliqué pieces and StitchnSew High Loft sew-in fleece (which now comes 60" wide by the yard). 

Products I used to create this wall hanging. I love that cute turquoise Oliso Iron to help me fuse the appliqué shapes in place.

Be sure and check out my tutorial over on the Therm-o-web Blog.

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