Thursday, January 18, 2024

4 Postcards Made with Teabags

Years ago I saved the teabags I had from drinking tea. I let them dry, then opened the bags and threw away the tea leaves. The tea bags would stain the paper teabags, but not the silk-type teabags. I saved the teabags and then stamped different stamps on them. The paper took the stamp very well, while the silk-type bags did stamp, but was more translucent. Not sure what I wanted to do with these stamped teabags? I had seen people make small quilts using teabags (not stamped) and it was an interesting look. 

I belong to a Fabric Postcard online group and the challenge postcard to make for January is Tea. Anything to do with tea. I decided to make a few postcards using these teabags after the challenge was announced. I knew I needed to quilt them to hold all the teabags together, so I glued the teabags in place and quilted them and then cut to 4" x 6" size and stitched around the edges. The backs are all stamped with the Postcard stamp on the back of each postcard.

They turned out to have an old fashioned vintage style look to them because of the tea staining. I have lots of stamped teabags left, so perhaps I will make more postcards, maybe adding some lace trim to them for more of a vintage look.

All 4 postcards have this stamped on the back of them.

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Thursday, January 4, 2024

ABQbeeks (Albuquerque Beekeeper Society) Banner I Made

Back in June 2023, I helped my friend to make a banner for her Bee Group. She told me the name was ABQ Beeks, which stands for Albuquerque BeeKeeper Society. When I heard the name, I thought it sounded like a bird group because of the beeks, which of course a bird beak is spelled with an "a" and not a double "e", but still, beeks sounds like a bird to me. So whoever came up with that name should have thought it through a bit more thoroughly. Too late to change the name now, I suppose.

Anyhow, I had a die cut for a bunting type banner and alphabet letters too, so I cut the the yellow and blue bunting out of felt and the letters out of cotton fabric and then I hand cut the two bees from cotton fabric and organza wings. I blanket stitched around the shapes and punched holes in the corners. I gave it back to my friend to string up into the banner so it could be hung up outside at events and maybe their meeting too. I took photos of each so you can see it, but I didn't see it actually strung up and hanging. I hoped it works well for them.

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Tuesday, January 2, 2024

The Hampstead Backpack

I tested this backpack back in October 2023. The testing was due November 1st and I finished in October. To date, I have not heard from the designer. Not a word! I have no idea if the pattern has been released? I have not received the updated pattern (which is standard to receive after testing a bag pattern), although a few designers for some reason do not give testers an updated version, but very few. I have no idea who the other testers are or how many there are?

All we testers usually receive is the pdf pattern to test and the updated version once all the edits have been made. Most designers to thank us testers too.

Well, I am posting this pattern as I don't know what happened and since it's been over 2 1/2 months since the pattern was first emailed to me to test, I am assuming it's out there somewhere for sale? Not sure if I will test again for this designer if I am left hanging. She does have some nice looking bag patterns, but this is my first test for her, although I did test an updated bag pattern too, but not sure what happened there on her end about that bag either? 

She seems like such a nice person too, so maybe she needs to spell out what she expects from testers and what she will do for testers too. There is no Facebook tester group as most designers have. No feed back form either.

Okay, so this is my version of the Hampstead Backpack. I won't mention the designer here, since I cannot provide links, but it is in the keywords.

I used upcycled denim jeans for the bottom, batik fabric for the top. I added some rickrack for a bit of fun and bling. The handle is cotton webbing with vinyl accent. A front zip pocket is handy for keys or phone.

The back side shows the straps for the backpack and the batik part is a padded shoulder pad for comfort. The bag has a main zipper closure.

Inside are 2 zipper pockets and 2 slip pockets that can be divided as you like. I always divide a pen pocket or two, which I did on the closer pocket, with a pen pocket on each outer side, leaving the center a large pocket. The other slip pocket I didn't divide at all, but placed a Kam snap to keep it closed so the pocket wouldn't droop and the contents wouldn't fall out.

My chair model, lol! 

Overall, it is a great looking bag that can be carried like a tote, worn like a backpack, over slung over one shoulder.  If you want the pattern, I guess you can do a search and see if it is available for sale yet? Or contact the designer? Maybe she had some issues and just never released it yet? I just wasn't sure if I would hear from her again, so I made a decision to post this.

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Monday, January 1, 2024

Sew Powerful Purses #203-221 (last purses made for 2023)

Happy New Year 2024 everyone!!! 

These are the very last purses completed for 2023 that I will donate to Sew Powerful. I completed a total of 220 purses for the year in 2023. I had cut out over 300 purse kits to sew, mostly for the Sew-a-thon (SAT) last year in September, but completed 116 (I think) for the SAT. I wanted to see how many purses I could complete by the end of 2023, which turned out to be 220 total purses. Since I still have lots of kits cut out and in different stages of completion, I will be working on those kits this year to get them finished before cutting out any more kits (fewer kits I think). The idea of having kits made to sew whenever I wanted to was great in one way. Just sew. But then I want to start other purses with new ideas I have, so perhaps it would be best to cut just a few kits at a time and sew them, before cutting more. I will try fewer kits and see if that works better for me. Time will tell.

The center hexagons I cut from a scrap that was given to me. I sewed strips around the hexagon crazy-pieced style.

Closeup of decorative stitched webbing strap
Closeup of decorative stitches I sewed on one of the straps from above purses.

The purse on the left was a scrap donation that was already quilted to cotton batting, so I cut it into the purse pieces and made this colorful striped purse. I added a double stacked button for fun. The purse on the right was the last piece I had of this print of African women. I got a partial 1/2 yard at a de-stash sale over a year ago. I added strips on the side of the fabric to create a flap wide enough to use. Then I sewed some rainbow ribbon over the seams and added a few flower shaped buttons.

Free form pieced scrappy flap here, with added dancing heart buttons. They look like they are dancing, since I placed each one differently.

2 purse with pieced batik fabric flaps. The left one I decided to pieced some small triangles I had already cut out that I never used for anything before. I added batik strips and a row of sewn pieces of uneven square shapes. The one on the right was a free Friendship Star quilt block that was donated. I made one purse flap using the other star block already. As I was going to make this flap, I realized (oops!) that I had accidently cut it too small in width! It was cut 1/2" too short, so I just added the extra width needed on the right side of the flap, so it would be wide enough. I think that was a good save for this flap. Note to self: Pay attention when cutting!

Back side showing front denim jean pockets on back
These are the backs of the 2 batik flap from above. Front jean pockets on the backs. Since these pockets fit on the back, I like to use them as a pocket that actually works. The patch pockets on the jeans I deconstructed are just too tall and cannot be sewn anywhere on these purses. I use smaller patch pockets from smaller women size jeans when I have them.

Closeup of decorative stitched webbing strap
Decorative stitches on the webbing strap from the purse above.

These 2 denim purses have pockets with flaps and a button closure to the flap. They were from a lightweight denim shirt. The rest of the purse is upcycled denim from men's jeans. For the flaps, I added additional scraps of denim to make the flap the correct size needed. I also added some ribbon and buttons for a bit of bling.

Back side showing patch denim jean with heart appliqué pocket on back
This is the back of the purse on the right from above. A patch denim pocket with added heart appliqué. Just the bottom tip of the pocket had to get sewn into the seam. As you can see this pocket just barely fit on the back.

Two more upcycled denim purses with added ribbons, heart shaped and flower shaped buttons.

Back side showing front denim jean pockets on back
The backs of the two purses from above also have the front pockets on the back of these purses.

This cute dog print from Benartex Fabrics is called, Dog On It Let's Face It.
 It was a panel of different dog heads on black background. (The rest of the dog purses are below). The dogs are cute, colorful and there is some gold metallic in the print too. I scored a piece of this at a quilter garage sale over a year and a half ago. They made an all over dogs print too.

Decorative stitched front pocket with ribbon and a fabric heart pieced card
On the above purse, I added ribbon and yarn couched yarn on the front pocket. The pieced scrappy heart is my notecard front that I added a hanging ribbon to.

Back of fabric heart card with stamped quotes and back of purse with full flap up
The back of the notecard, I stamped quotes all over it in different colored ink. Also, this is the back of the purse with the full flap (upside down).

Closeup of decorative stitched webbing strap
Closeup of the decorative stitched webbing strap. This design is needle and thread.

Two more dog flaps with upcycled denim bodies and decorative stitched webbing straps.

Closeup of decorative stitched webbing strap
This webbing is stitched with a ocean wave looking design.

Closeup of decorative stitched webbing strap
This is a decorative stitch that looks like a row of chained together asterisks.

3 more cute puppy flaps!

Closeup of decorative stitched webbing strap
Decorative stitching on webbing.

Closeup of decorative stitched webbing strap
Decorative stitched webbing. I like this design. Like asterisks joined with diamonds.

Closeup of decorative stitched webbing strap
This webbing was stitched with a line of scissors that appear to be cutting.

Back side showing front denim jean pockets on back
2 of the back sides of the dog purses with the front pockets as the back of the purses.

How many purses will I make this year in 2024? Who knows? But every single purse I do make will change a girl's life for the better.

Have the BEST NEW YEAR ever!!! Cheers!

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