Mushroom Hunting Bag

12.31.2009



My dad requested I make him a morel mushroom hunting bag last summer.  He even gave me a pair or his cargo pants that I told him I could make him a bag out of.  Well, I never got around to it and it's been in my to-finish pile forever!




I didn't look at a tutorial or even any pictures of bags like I usually do.  Since it was made from a pair of pants, some camo cotton I had around for the lining, and a strap from a purse I recycled I didn't think following directions would make it easier. 




I dove right in and cut up the pieces.  I used the cargo pocket part for the front flap and added some brown bias tape to attach it to the lining.  It didn't take long actually, and it was pretty fun.  I did attach the flap wrong the first time I sewed it however, but it was easily fixed.  Best part is - my dad loves it and my mom wanted to steal it from him. 

Hope he fills it up with morels this spring!

If anyone's interest in a tutorial on this let me know, I think making another one would be fun - plus I can give it to my mom so my dad doesn't have to share his.

** My dad thought I should note that you're really not supposed to put morels in a bag like this, apparently a cotton mesh type bag is best.  Who knew?!

Some little gifts

12.29.2009


I made these cute little journals for my cousin's daughters.  I used fabric scraps and added their initials to the front, not a bad use of old cereal boxes (we are a cereal loving family).  I tucked in a little sparkly gel pen into each package so they could start writing/doodling right away.





a pouch for my sister-in-law's birthday




pillow case for one of my nephews




and I did manage to finish my husband's stocking before Christmas!

And I can't wait to show you what I made for my Dad out of an old pair of pants of his, he'll be thrilled - mainly because I was supposed to make him something last summer.  Hopefully it'll be worth the wait!

The Bag

12.28.2009



This bag, oh, this bag.  If I could tell you how much I struggled with this silly bag!  You would laugh.  It looks pretty straightforward, but this is the project where I re-did, ripped seams, re-did again, cut, cut again, put in grommets, re-did the grommets, the list goes on...




I definitely wouldn't recommend this pattern (the Market Bag pattern) to a beginner that's for sure.  Lots of pieces to cut out and figure where exactly they belong.  My mom picked out this pattern at my other favorite local quilt shop.  I thought it was a cute bag -- and it is!  She asked me to make it for her about 2 months ago now, and I just finished it and gave it to her for Christmas. 




I used a black wool corduroy and some other black/white fabric (sorry I have no idea what to call it), and the ties and lining are made from Paula Prass' Summer Soiree Best Friend in black.  I really like how it came together in the end.  I actually think I might attempt to make another bag following this pattern for myself!  It has lots of great pockets for all sorts of goodies.

I'm 30 today...

12.27.2009

Kinda crazy, but at least this year I wasn't a grump.  My good friend from college had a baby girl today, so I was thrilled to say the least!!!  She was due earlier in the week, but I knew she could hold out until my birthday (ha ha).  What fun and I can't wait to make the little girl some cute things.

I was folding laundry last night and thought I'd share a few of my favorite things {yes, inspiration from laundry}:




my sweatshirt (which I wear almost everyday in the winter), it's from one of the radio stations that my brother works for and I love it.  I even love the stains and paint splatters that cover the whole thing.




my swimming t-shirts:  all cut up and ready to make into a t-shirt quilt.  Here's a little peek into my world: I swam competitively for over 12 years of my life.  Thanks to my mom who took me to all the boring swim meets and bought me all these crazy shirts because I "had" to have them.  And as an added bonus, it's also how I met my husband, we both swam in college.




my family, of course, and all the laundry they produce!  (I thought I'd spare you the dirty laundry pile shot)

Here's to 30!

Table Runner & Napkins

12.26.2009



I think this might be one of my most favorite projects yet.  I love the colors and the fabrics and how soft they are!  I made this quilted table runner and set of napkins for my sister-in-law for Christmas (yes, I have a total of 5 sister-in-laws, kinda fun). 




The fabrics were dreamy to work with,  I chose the Etsuko Furuya double gauze Birds in Purple from fabricworm.com and ordered the shot cottons from PurlSoho (I got a yard and half of Lipstick and the same of Apple).  I also had the blue polka dot from Patty Young's latest Flora & Fauna line (from MaterialGal on Etsy), it just happend to coordinate nicely! 




I had the tiny dark brown polkadot in my stash, something I picked up at my local Hancock fabrics.  The table runner measured about 24 inches wide by 54 inches long.  I'm almost thinking I need to make a quilt using these same fabrics, for myself!




I used this tutorial over at Sew, Mama, Sew! for the napkins.  I ended up with hardly any leftover fabric, maybe a fat quarter or so from the Furuya fabric left (excited to add it to some clothing item for the girls --  the double gauze is dreamy). 




The best part of this project was that I ripped all my pieces, yes ripped!  I was reading this tutorial before making the table runner and decided I should just go for it since I was running late on time and wanted it straight on the grain without a lot of fuss.  It was awesome!


Last Minute Gifts

12.24.2009






I'm pushing through these last few projects that are left on my to-do list for Christmas giving.  Eek!  I'm a little behind.  Probably a bit ambitious, but you know, why not.  I put together a kitchen gift set for my boss, she's an excellent cook and I know she'll appreciate it.  Jacquie over at Tallgrass Prairie Studio has an awesome tutorial on how to make these great potholder/dishtowel sets.  (She also has a ton of other great info and tutorials.  If you haven't visited her blog before - you'd better!) 




My other boss is a simple kind of guy, his famous quote is "if you can't carry it in a backpack you probably don't need it".  How many bosses say that?!  So I made him some Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps and put them in this cute little box.  Yum!  My husband had also made grape jam earlier this fall and we are giving them each a jar. 

Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!  I've got a few more gifts to show off, so I might post some before Christmas or the day after. 

Fat Quarters

12.21.2009

Fabric sale + me = lots of fabric




I came home with 30, yes 30, fat quarters the other day.  Why 30?! Seams kind of exessive, right?  Well, my local quilt shop was having a great sale, buy 20 fat quarters and get 10 free.  Yipee!  Could you pass up that deal?  It seemed like a challenge to be able to pick out that many, but I really had no trouble, haha. 




Now my question to you is, what to do with all these?  They're definitely not all coordinating, I just picked out what I liked.  Any recommendations for me on some great tutorials out there that use fat quarters (or less)?  Besides the Buttercup bag, the most fabulous fat quarter bag out there?

And did you read this post over at Bloom?  It really struck home for me.  Hope you all have a great Christmas and try not to get too stressed out, okay?

Camera Case

12.18.2009



I just love small projects like these!  Have you tried Pink Penguin's Camera Case Tutorial yet?  It's so fun and cute and just happens to fit the cameras of just about everyone I know.  I made this one for my sister-in-law as part of her Christmas present. 




I should admit that I did have to take off the binding I made and redo it all.  I cut it wayyy to big (2.5" wide, duh) when it should have been more like 1.5".  Inside I included a little tag that had her name and phone number just in case the little turkey would get lost.  I used an iron on transfer sheet and fused it to the inside and then did some hand stitching around the whole tag. 




Anyway, a case like this is just great in general and could be used for many other things than just a camera.  Yay!

Broken Christmas Ornament Count:  33 (well, maybe that's on the high side, but all ornaments are now missing from the lower half of the tree).


TUTORIAL: Zakka Inspired Pencil Pouch

12.16.2009

Who loves zippers??!  I know you all do!  Time for another cute project.  There's just enough time to whip up a couple and add them to your Christmas stockings...





Here's what you'll need:




linen scraps, 2 pieces cut to 3.5" w x 4" tall
main fabric 2 pieces approximately 7.5" w x 4" tall
lining fabric 2 pieces 10.5" w x 4" tall
scraps for applique car (or whatever design you want to come up with) and two buttons
an 11" zipper or larger
scrap of fabric 3" wide x 2" tall and split key ring (if you plan on adding the key ring)

{1/4" seam allowance throughout}




First, grab your scrap of fabric to make your key ring loop.  Fold it in half with right sides together and sew.  Turn right side out and press with seam in middle.  Set aside.






Take one piece of linen and add your applique.  I used fusible webbing and ironed it to my scrap pieces then cut them out with an exacto knife.  Iron the applique to the linen.  Sew around the edges of the applique with a small zig zag stitch.  Sew on buttons for the car's wheels.




Then, take one main piece of fabric and the piece of linen with the applique on it and place them right sides together and sew.




Take your other main piece of fabric and remaining piece of linen and sew with right sides together.  Make sure if you're using a print with an obvious direction (like I have here with the cars) to sew the linen on the other side than what you had sewn the piece with the applique on.  {See above picture.}

Press seams to one side for both exterior pieces.






Now onto the fun part!  Take your piece of exterior fabric and place it on your work surface right side up.  Lay down your zipper along the top edge with the zipper facing down and pull tab at the LEFT.  Then place a piece of lining fabric right side down on top of the zipper.  Sew using a zipper foot.  Flip so wrong sides are facing each other.






Next put down the remaining exterior piece right side up, take your zipper and place it along the top edge with the zipper teeth facing down and the pull tab to the RIGHT.  Place the remaining lining piece right side down on top of the zipper.  Sew using a zipper foot.  Flip so wrong sides are together and press.  You should now having something that looks like this:







Now's a good time to open up your zipper about half way.  Tuck in your key ring tab on the left hand side between the exterior fabrics with the raw edges facing out and pin. 




Now you're going to sew along the entire perimeter except leave a 2-3" opening in the lining fabric for turning.  Clip corners and trim ends off the zipper so that they're almost flush with the edges of the pouch.  Pull right side out through the hole in the lining. 




Sew the opening in the lining shut by hand or with a very small seam allowance.  Push the lining into the pouch and press!  That's it!




Let me know if you have any questions, I'd love to see what you make.

Terms of use:  For personal use only.

Zakka Inspired Pencil Pouch

12.15.2009



Do you ever get those crazy ideas when you're drifting off to sleep?  Well, I had this pencil pouch in mind for a couple little boys and thought of a great detail I wanted to add to it to make it extra special.  I'll be sharing a tutorial on this pencil pouch tommorrow, so check back!




I won! And yet another Christmas present on the loose...

12.13.2009

I got home from my family's Christmas gathering yesterday and was reading through the new posts on my google reader and found out I was a winner of Wink Designs amazing giveaway!  My jaw nearly dropped on the floor while I was reading her post.   I guess I am a little lucky... :)





I made this bamboo handle purse for my sister-in-law for Christmas.  It was a fun purse to make.  I used this tutorial by Oh, Fransson! and just used the bamboo handles instead of the fabric loops.  (I cut the dimensions to 14w x 14t if you're wondering).



It was a bit tricky trying to sew the handles in, but it worked!  I also referenced this tutorial from Little Birdie Secrets.  I love this fabric combination of Amy Butler Optic Blossom in Olive and Alexander Henry Fashionista Mod Dot in Nude. 




I think they'd also make a super cute baby quilt, hopefully someone I know will have a baby girl soon!

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