Monday, September 26, 2022

Sew Powerful Purses #166-190 for 2022

Hello sweet peeps. I have 25 purses to share with you today. I had some in my camera and some I just took photos of. I am still sewing purses all month for the Sew Powerful Purse Project Sew-a-thon and I have completed 90 purses for the Sew-a-thon and still have some more I am working on. I have made 190 purses for 2022 in total so far. (I accidentally said in a previous post that I had completed 200 for the year, but it was actually only 165 then, not 200. I don't know what I was looking at or adding up that came out to that many, but I have corrected it, so it won't be 200 until I finish 10 more purses).

So here are the 25 purses I finished recently for the Sew-a-thon:

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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Sew Powerful Purse # 165 for 2022 (Using Crafter's Edge Hexagon Die Cut)

Hello everyone. I not only have a purse to show you that I made for Sew Powerful Purse Project & during the September Sew-a-thon, but it is my Crafter's Edge project for September as well. 

Karen, who is a member of the the Sew Powerful Purse Project Facebook group sent me some happy mail of fabric scraps she had. It was a surprise package in the mail and there was a long scrap of fabric of this African women and children fabric. I didn't think I would even make any purses with it until after the Sew-a-thon this month, but then I needed to make a project using Crafter's Edge die cuts and thought about what I wanted to make and I thought I may as well make another purse since I am in purse making mode. I wanted to be able to use the fabric Karen sent to me in an efficient way and something that would look good on the flaps of the purse too. While looking through my die cuts, I decided to use the hexagon die cut. So I cut 2 hexagon sizes and also oriented the fabric in 2 different ways. With the point at the top and bottom on some and the flat straight across edge on top and bottom of others. That way it would give the purse different looks.

I really love how using the hexagon on the flap turned out. I sewed scraps around the hexagon, giving it my signature scrappy look. I added a handmade label and 3 buttons as well. I love the colors and how this flap turned out. I cut a few hexagons to make more purses and have enough of the fabric to either cut more hexagons or other shapes to use this fabric several times, making more purse flaps. I bet Karen didn't dream I would be able to make about a dozen purse flaps with this one scrap of fabric. I didn't think I would be using that fabric for that many purse flaps either. I only made the one purse with the African print fabric for now, so when I get around to making more purses, I will make them at the same time so as to compare the differences in how they look. Thanks for the fabric Karen!

Completed purse flap along with the same fabric cut from 2 sizes of hexagon die cuts and oriented in different directions.

Karen also sent these coordinating fabrics that I used for the purse body.

Here is the completed purse.

The back of the purse, I added a back slip pocket.

The front of the purse (it has a large slip pocket on the front) and the lining I used for this purse flap. The main lining is a tan and white narrow plaid homespun fabric (not shown).

I enjoyed using the hexagon die cuts to make this purse flap and will be making more using the hexagon on the flaps of other purses, but not just this fabric as I want to use other fabric too. I think the hexagon is great for showcasing a print like this or putting an appliqué in the center of the hexagon too.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Sew Powerful Purses #155-164 for 2022!!!

Hello lovelies. I really sewed a lot during this month's Sew-a-thon and I still have time to complete some more purses as the month isn't over yet. So for the month of September I have completed 53 purses now. How many more will I make? 

I started the month off testing a bag for one designer and just got a head's up I will be testing a couple more bags for another designer. The bags I will be testing will be smaller and simpler (not a purse), so they shouldn't take too long to make. I say that because there are 3 sizes and I might just make all 3. The second item will be tested in October, so I won't have to worry about sewing purses then. In fact, I will take a break from sewing these Sew Powerful purses so I can sew other things I have been wanting to finish. So any day I will get the pattern to test, but in the meanwhile, I will continue sewing more purses for Sew Powerful.

Here are the 10 latest ones I completed:

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Monday, September 19, 2022

Gadgets, Gadgets, Gadgets to Make Sewing & Quilting Easier

Welcome to the Queen of Gadgets Blog Hop hosted by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt (thanks Carol!). Instead of creating a project using a gadget or two or three, I am sharing some of my favorite gadgets with you here today.

Hello all you gadget lovers, I love gadgets, don't you? If a gadget helps me in making my project better, quicker, more precise, etc. then I LOVE it! I love to try new gadgets and come up with my own gadgets too. Some work great and some not so much, but it is always worth giving it a go to see if it will help to make my work or project better or faster or more precise.

This is a gathering of some of my most used gadgets (besides the rotary cutter of course).

I have a long list of gadgets and tools that I use a lot! Here are just a few of them and what I love about them. (Believe me, I could have listed waaay more gadgets than these, lol). 

Listed in no particular order:

1. Wonder Clips by Clover Brand (or copycat clips as they work the same). These clips are great for holding fabric together instead of pins, especially if you cannot pin because it could cause holes, such as when using a vinyl material. I use my clips daily! I have the narrow tips clips, the original clips, the long clips and the wider clips. The wider clips seem to be sturdier, whereas the original clips are now breaking a lot after years of use. The other two sizes I use less often.
Wonder Clips & generic clips mixed together. I like to use a ramekin to hold my small clips like these. I made a fabric bowl to hold the wider clips (not shown).

2. A die cutting machine (I use Crafter's Edge Brand) is great as nothing cuts as precisely as using a die cut. It's great for appliqué, piecing, fabric and paper crafting. I get a lot of use out of my die cuts and the Crossover II cutting machine.
I love using my die cutting machine, especially with appliqué die cuts like the one shown below.
I love appliqué die cuts from Crafter's Edge they sure make life easier being able to cut out appliqué die cuts or pieced die cuts quickly and accurately.

3. Of course the rotary cutter, cutting mat and rulers changed the world of quilting for me. I learned to piece all by hand using cardboard templates and tracing around them, since rotary cutters, and rulers hadn't been invented yet. When my children were young I happened upon a VHS video from the local library by Eleanor Burns who was showing using a rotary cutter, mat and ruler. OMG!!! I ordered them all from her and it opened up a whole new way to piece and quilt for me. So much faster and more precise and now I could try sewing on my sewing machine too! Thanks Eleanor!

4. Hot Ruler by Clover Brand. I love this ruler for when I need to press a 1/4" seam and it's so easy to press it over the ruler. The ruler won't get hot at all or melt either! I use this ruler a lot!

5. Elmer's Washable Glue Stick that is purple and dries clear. I often use glue and the hot ruler together by pressing my narrow seam and then running the glue and pressing it again to keep the seam flat without the need of pins or clips. I use glue sticks for many other things too and I stock up on glue sticks at back-to-school sales as they are the cheapest then and I buy the largest glue stick I can get so it lasts the longest.

First I press under 1/4" using the Hot Ruler to press.
Next I run some Elmer's glue along the fabric where I pressed.
Then  give it a press with my hot iron and it sticks and stays flat. If you goof, pull it up and try again. The glue is washable and less messy than liquid forms of glue. I stock up on the glue at back to school sales as it's always cheaper then.

6. Corner Ruler is great and useful, especially when making the purses I donate to Sew Powerful as I can cut the flap and pockets, etc. with my rotary cutter and ruler and then round the corner curves using the corner ruler rotary cutter. Saves me time and is easy to use.
Looks a bit dirty here after so many years of use, lol! The tape on the backside of the ruler is the textured medical tape. (See 7 below).

7. To keep rulers from slipping on my cutting mat, I use a clear textured medical or surgical tape. I can still see through the ruler because it's clear, but the texture helps grip the fabric and prevents slipping. I bought mine at Amazon in 1/2-inch width. It comes in lots of widths.
8. Knitting needle point protectors are also great for protecting the tips of scissors, seam rippers, stilettos and other small pointy sharp stuff. The point protectors come in small, medium and large sizes (2 to a set), so I use them on several pairs of scissors, especially helpful when I take scissors with me so they do not poke a hole in my bag. They are usually made of silicon. Here is another gadget tip: try using long tweezers instead of a stiletto, it works great!
Knitting point protectors come in a few sizes to fit your knitting needles, but work great to protect sharp pointy things like seam rippers, small scissors, stiletto and more.

9. A Clapper is a great tool to use after you press with your iron as it will hold the heat in longer making a nice flat seam. I lucked out and got this clapper from a thrift store years ago.
Top view of clapper.

Side view of clapper.

10. Spray Mist Bottle is what I use instead of adding water to my iron. I learned decades ago that putting water into your iron to create steam not only shortens the life of your iron, but causes spitting, leaking and brown rust spots to ruin your fabric or clothes. Plus if you read the instructions of irons carefully, they tell you to empty the water out after you are done using it each time. Well you can never get all of the water out of an iron, so it still will cause problems anyhow. 

A mist bottle like the kind you can get at a beauty supply store is the best! It sprays a mist of water and really gently wets what you want to press. Unlike regular spray water bottles, it doesn't dribble or leak all over. The mist bottle actually has in inside bladder where the water goes. I have used the one I have for many years without any issues. I got mine at Amazon (because the local beauty supply said they couldn't keep them in stock as they fly out of there).

11. Rivet Press is a must if you sew stuff like purses and bags and use a lot of rivets like I do! It is easy to use and works easier than a hand held press. I got mine years ago at Goldstar Tools Oh and of course a hole punch is also needed to punch your hole for the rivet. You can buy the hole die that fits the rivet press (I did, but it wouldn't punch a clear hole) or get the leather punch and punch by hand that comes with lots of hole sizes. 
I got a purple color Rivet Press from Goldstar Tools.

Hand held hole punch. From Amazon.

12. Double-Sided Tape for fabric/sewing is useful for a lot of sewing where you cannot use pins or clips; like sewing faux leather, zipper installation, and more. (You can see a roll of it in the first photo I took above with all my gadgets).

13. Tilt Table: I bought one of these about 35-40 years ago or close to that long ago at a quilt show. I love using this when I take a sewing machine to class or retreat as you can tilt the table at a few different angled heights, making it easier to see what you are sewing. My machines at home now all live in a table that are inset making them flat. So the tilt table is for people who don't have an inset table or cabinet for their sewing machines. Hint: you can also buy a couple of jumbo sized angled door stoppers to place at the back of your sewing machine to angle it too for a lot less $, as the tilt tables aren't cheap (they sure went up in price since I got mine). I saw that Amazon sells a wooden style that you can angle in a couple of ways and it has a storage lift up section which is cool, to access your tools. Pic below:
This wooden version has a lift up storage place and you can angle your machine like above of the reverse.

This is the kind I have. It's plastic. Click here for other cheaper ideas for tilting your table for better vision.

15. A Slotted Ruler is great for cutting strips of various sizes. I use the Creative Grids brand Stripology slotted ruler the most of any ruler I own. I also have the June Tailor versions as well, but the Creative Grids seems sturdier to me. The JT version cracked near the corner edges on both the 12" and 18" size rulers. The CG seems to hold up better and already comes with the textured dots to hold it in place.
16. Check out my blog posting about The Quilt Keeper here. It is an over-the-door quilt display hanger. I just posted about The Quilt Keeper last Saturday, so check it out. It is a fabulous gadget too!

There is one last thing I wanted to share with you. I had never heard of doing this before until a couple of weeks ago, but I tried it and it's really great! Do you condition your thread? On this video, the Sewing Doc shows you how to condition your thread using mineral oil. It's cheaper and will last longer than using Sewer's Aid Lubricant for your thread. She says this works on ALL kinds of thread, but since I live in the high desert climate of the Southwest, I decided to try it on just my cotton thread for now. Man oh man was that cotton thread thirsty! It soaked up that mineral oil quickly! I am sewing with the lubricated thread now and it is really nice I have to say. So watch the video and read the questions that people asked her. She answers the first time the question was asked, so best to scroll to the bottom of the questions and work up to the top so you can read her answers too.

Well are you gadgeted out yet? LOL! There is a lot more to see on this blog hop, so start hopping. Here are all of the participants:

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Sunday, September 18, 2022

Blog Hop Starting Monday September 19th: Queen of Gadgets

Carol of Just Let Me Quilt is hosting the Queen of Gadgets Blog Hop starting Monday the 19th. This should be a fun hop to see what gadgets people use. I know I am the Queen of Gadgets myself, lol!

 Here is the list of participants:

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Saturday, September 17, 2022

The Quilt Keeper: a Great Way to Display Your Quilts!

Hello all you quilters and quilt lovers. I have something to show you today that is a fun new way to display your quilts. It's called The Quilt Keeper. It was invented by a quilter too! Ellen Taurins is the designer of this Quilt Keeper.

The Quilt Keeper was sent to me in exchange for writing a review/article on my blog (and I also posted it on my Facebook & Instagram pages too). The Quilt Keeper comes with 2 over-the-door brackets, the metal rod with hooks that the quilt sits on and a strip of foam with adhesive on the back that you cut to size and stick it on the metal brackets to not only make the brackets fit the door better, but it keeps it from scratching the door too. I added the foam where suggested in the instructions and placed it on the door. I then cut the remaining foam into fourths and stuck it on 2 more places on the brackets so make sure the bracket was cushioned better on the door. 

Next all you do according to the instructions is to fold your quilt into thirds and drape it over the hanging rod and hook it onto the hooks on the hanging brackets. That's it! No real assembly other than adding the foam and the rubber tips for the bracket ends. Watch the YouTube video here.

The metal parts are very well made and the whole design is so simple, yet works great! Plus, nothing is permanent, so you can take it off the door and move it to another door or store it away when you don't have a quilt to hang on it. It doesn't take up much storage space either. I love simple functional designs!

I took a lap quilt I made not long ago and hung it on The Quilt Keeper. It looks great displayed like this.

My lap quilt works great being hung as it's not heavy. It is a fabulous way to display a quilt! 

I am not an affiliate for The Quilt Keeper (although I could have signed up to become an affiliate), but I do like to tell you about tools and gadgets that I have come across that I really like and The Quilt Keeper is a great product! It's well made and simple, both a huge thumbs up for me! As a blogger and a quilt maker, it makes it easier for me to take photos of my quilts on The Quilt Keeper too! Use the Code: PATMS for a 10% discount on any purchase.

Thank you so much Azera & Ellen for sending me this Quilt Keeper and for inventing such a great design too that works and looks good too!
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Thursday, September 15, 2022

Sew Powerful Purses #139-154 for 2022 (16 more for the Sew-a-thon)

Hello sweet people. I completed another 16 purses the past few days during the Sew-a-thon for making Sew Powerful Purses this month. That brings the total for the year to 154 purses (so far) and 53 purses sewn during the Sew-a-thon (so far) and the month is now half over, so can I complete the same number of purses in the next 2 weeks? We'll see. 

It was red topstitching the past few days, so I got these 16 purses done.

I am not sure where I got that woven stripe material from on the left, but it made a nice purse, especially with the addition of the appliqué flowers. That fabric was a freebie maybe from my quilt group's freebie table? 

Working my way through the tons of homespun plaid I got from a donation. The center of the appliqué flower is sewn selvages that I cut into a circle and sewed a handmade button on it.

Since the flap on the left was made with red and green homespun fabric, I added other red and green fabrics to it and it was looking rather Christmas-like, so I sewed a wooden snowflake in the center, along with red and green buttons. 

On the right, I was finally able to use that embroidered horse appliqué patch I had for quite a while. It just went great with the homespun plaid fabric.

Today with be Gold topstitching thread day and my last stack of purses from bag number 1. Then I will be moving on to bag #2. 
Happy Scrappy Sewing!
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