Saturday
Feb132016

a blog tour, a new pattern, and a giveaway (oh my!)

Hello hello!  And welcome!

Have you been following this tour? Every day I gasp with amazement at all the lovely creations being made with Paperie.  Love them.  And the fabric.  And my dear sweet Amy.  We've been pals since we were both newbie bloggers.  (Hey Amy, can you believe it's been almost 5 years now?!) She was the first blogger friend that I met in person.  I was an instant fan of her work and style, and an instant fan of her as a super nice person.  I'm honoured to call her friend (sorry for being so corny, but it's true).  And I know how hard she worked to realize her dream of designing fabric for all of us to be inspired to make pretty little things.  So I'm super excited that today is my turn to show off Amy's debut fabric collection, and the pattern I wrote specially for it.

Back Story ... because, you know me ... what's a blog post without a back story? ;)

Some 25 years ago (wait, what? seriously? that can't possibly be right! and yet, it is ...) when I started working at a Laura Ashley shop, it was at the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.  And like most stores, Laura Ashley shelves were stocked with specialty holiday items designed for easy and affordable gift-giving.  One of my favourite such gifts was a little set of 3 cosmetic pouches made in coordinating fabrics and tied with a ribbon.  It was always popular with husbands and boyfriends because they didn't have to worry about it fitting. ;)

I gave and owned many of these sets and have been meaning to make them all these years because they are the perfect combination of pretty and practical.  In fact, I still have a few surviving pouches that I use for travelling.  So this finish feels pretty darned awesome because A) it's finally DONE, B) I got to use Paperie, C) it turned out super cute, and D) now I have my new favourite quick gift to make for daughters, sisters, moms, friends, teachers, hostesses ... ... ... ME!

Sometimes these pouches were made with coordinating zipper binding (as I've made mine) and sometimes they just had plain, exposed zips.  Of course the binding takes a little more time and attention, but I think it look so much prettier, and it's more fun for me to play with more fabric. 

Consider adding a layer of clear plastic to the lining if yours are going to see some heavy-duty makeup use.

And as with anything handmade, finishing details are the icing on the cake and can be whatever you want them to be.  I've shown a few simple ideas here, but you can satisfy your inner muse with patchwork, applique, and embroidery to name a few more ideas.

Pattern is available here. (PDF download only.)

Now I also have a little giveaway today.  I had enough leftover fabric and notions to make up a complete kit for someone to make exactly these three pockets. Everything is included - fabric, ribbons, label, d-ring, zippers, and pattern.  All you need to add is batting and thread.

Here's the deal. (I was going to make this exclusive to Instagram, but I think some of you don't use it.)  So.  If you ARE on IG, like my Paperie post and leave a comment tagging a friend.  Just one friend.  If your name is chosen, you will win the kit and your friend will win a Paperie charm pack from Amy. :) If you are NOT on IG, then just leave a comment here saying so and you will be entered to win the kit.  Anyone can enter, no matter where you live, and entries close Feb 15th.

Good luck! xo k

Wednesday
Jan272016

true love pinnie

Hey!  Just popping in real quick to show you this sweet little pincushion I whipped up in less than an hour this morning.  Seriously.  Cheri made it for Amy's Paperie blog hop and I just couldn't help myself.  I needed to make it more than I needed a cup of tea. ;)  True story.  Find the tutorial here.

Monday
Jan252016

paperie blog tour!

Hello everyone!  I'm pretty sure you know Amy Sinibaldi of nanaCompany.  And I'm pretty sure most of you have seen her first fabric collection "Paperie".  When I heard she was organizing a blog tour, I begged her to let me join in the fun. :)  (Obviously, she said yes.)

The tour starts today so hop over to Amy's blog for details.  My date is Feb 13th - the day before Valentine's.  I made up a cute little project (three, actually) and wrote a pattern for it too.  AND, I'll have 2 giveaways for you as well.  This is gonna be fun! 

Thanks Amy, and congratulations of your first of many beautiful and inspiring fabric collections.

xo k

Monday
Jan042016

you know I had to do this sooner or later, right?

So depending on your point of view, I'm either "later" as in Christmas is SO over already, or I'm "sooner" as in Christmas is still another 11 1/2 months away!  LOL! 

I actually had this finished before Christmas, it just took me this long to show you.  (The short daylight hours of winter here in the Great White North known as Canada are NOT my favourite thing.)

I don't have a ton to say about this version ... you already know how I feel about pink.  I made this one a bit smaller - it doesn't have a border because I opted for a lace trim instead. 

And that little ribbon/lace/button addition in the top left corner?  Uh, that is there to hide a little oopsies.  My cutting table was (is) a bit of a disaster and it seems I accidentally ran my rotary cutter into the fabric by an inch and a bit.  So that little embellishment is more of a bandage than an intentional design detail.  But works.  And it makes me giggle.

Hope your New Year is off to a good start!

xo k

Monday
Dec282015

new pattern - just in time for the new year

I wrote this pattern a while ago for a workshop I taught last month.  Because it was dated 2015, I figured I'd better get this published before the new year so I didn't have to change the date. ;)

It's available as a PDF only in my shop.  You can find it here.  It went through rigorous testing and all the ladies in my workshop (thank you again, Alberta Quilt Study Society gals!) were very happy with their new shopping bags.

If you are as much of a fan of Robert Kaufman's Essex linen in "Natural" as I am, this is the perfect project to use some of that gorgeous fabric.  The end result is a fun take on the traditional brown paper bag.  Paired with your favourite print - and you don't need to use much! - the linen really shows off the feature fabric.  And there's a lot of opportunity to personalize this pattern, too.  Do whatever you like to make it your own.  It's a super roomy bag to tote around a lot of stuff fron the market, to your next quilting class, to the beach ... one can never have too many pretty bags!

xo k

Tuesday
Dec222015

whoever said "it's the little things in life" could not have been more right, even though this is probably not what they meant

What would you do if a very dear friend sent you a key chain (or scissor fob, as I've turned it into) that has a wee little skein of pink COSMO embroidery floss and a wee little embroidery hoop?

Would you squeal like a teenage girl at a Justin Beiber concert?

Well apparently I would.

And did.

Thank you N!!! xxx

Sunday
Dec202015

santa hat mini free pdf

Merry Christmas to you from me. :)  Just click on the image of the pattern to download it for free.  I'll put a link to this post under tutorials and free patterns so you will always be able to find it. 

I hope you have fun with this one.  I could easily see it as a cushion cover.  Or even just use one hat on a gift tag!  Use pompoms or little jingle bells instead of buttons, go crazy with your colours and embellishments, or just keep it super simple.

xo k

Saturday
Dec192015

letting cats out of bags ... and a rather unexpected preamble

Quick, go get yourself a hot cup of coffee or tea and a small plate of Christmas baking or a handful of chocolates ... you're gonna need them!  I've gone through two cups of Chai tea and a half a dozen truffles writing!  LOL!

*   *   *   *   *

Before I get started, I have to say that I've had THE biggest kick out of your reponses to my question yesterday about Martha Stewart projects.  Talk about a trip down memory lane.  I don't think it would be a stretch to describe me as a Martha disciple from the mid 90s when I discovered her to about the early 2000s when I had kids and no time to have that sort of fun anymore.

I used to record her show and watch each episode several times.  I loved everything about it.  I learned a lot and was constantly inspired.

Suz, you are quite right.  Classic, understated elegance is everywhere! :)

Rosemary, no question some of her projects were VERY intense.  I remember reading in an anniversary issue that said of all her "good things" projects, the one rated most difficult were these little lidded, nexting boxes made with paper.  I had to laugh because I went to town with a neighbour friend with those!  The measurements were finicky, but I thought the boxes were fairly easy because I had all my quilting equipment.  My mat, ruler, and the bone folder I bought because of her (that thing has come in so handy over the years!  Among other things here and there, I use it all the time for turning out corners on my sewing projects) for scoring the fold lines made that project so much fun.  I remember photocopying sheet music to make the boxes.  Because they were made of regular paper, they slowly succumbed to use and abuse over the years, but I kept office suppies in them on my desk in my home office for a long time.  Loved them.

Marcella, so sorry for you/happy for me to hear that the buckwheat hull pillows were noisy!  LOL!  I wanted to make those too, but they were too expensive (although that cranberry wreath cost me a pretty penny!).  Thank you for permission to no longer regret not making those.

Stacy, realistic is how I feel about it now too.  I can't bear to get rid of all my old issues.  But I have no time for new projects.  I know that if I am ever in the mood to do something crafty, I have 10 years worth of Martha to go through to satisfy myself. :)

Pam, yes I remember that cake. :)  But more importantly, YOU HAVE BEEN TO TURKEY HILL???!!!  Lucky duck. (Hard Copy!  LOL!!!  I would have been right there with ya!)

Sue, your dogwood wreath sounds absolutely dreamy with the hand painted blossoms.  Sigh.  Her mom really was adorable.  What a no-nonsense, entertaining lady.

Jenn, oh those Christmas specials!  I always looked forward to them.  So dreamy and lovely.  I miss them.  I have most of her Christmas books.  Geez, I should pull them out and put them on my coffee table right now!  Funny thing, before I was a mom and didn't have worry about how I decorated my coffee table, I would keep a stack of my Martha magazines out and I'd switch them every month.  All the Januarys in January, etc.  Yes, I used them as decoration.  And I read and reread them countless times.  (Wow, was I ever nerdy!)

Sherri, O.M.G. that marzipan garden cake!!!  I LOVED that cake!  That picket fence?!  Oh I wanted to make little marzipan things in the worst way.  But I didn't have the tools.  I actually toyed around with the idea of making them with Fimo, but I suck at sculpting, I found out. :(  Funny story, just a few weeks ago my daughter asked me what marzipan was made of.  First thing that popped into my head was that cake.  Too bad marzipan tastes so gross (apologies if you like it).

Ann, those gilded walnuts.  I remember those too.  Who else other than Martha would think to pair walnuts with pearls, I ask?  Gorgeous.  Something else I wanted to make.  Not sure why I didn't.  Glad you did, though!  It's fun doing things like that with a friend.  Even though you only have 2, they put a smile on your face every year when you remember that afternoon, don't they? :)

Helen, the world is full of so many other lovely creative and inspiring people.  You will never want for that sort of entertainment, now that the internet gives you access to all!

Holly, oh I wish you would tell me stories!  I love them.  I have most of the baby issues too.  I remember embroidering burp cloths when I was pregnant, thanks to the first issue.  How ridiculous that sounds to me now!  LOL!

Sigi, your wreath sounds absolutely delightful, Martha or not.  I do give her credit for teaching me to appreciate wreaths in all forms.  This year I actually made a cedar bough hanger for my front door.  Turned out a little wonky, but it's fine for one season.  Would never have done that without her inspiration.  I think the first wreath I made from fresh branches was from a Mountain Ash tree in the backyard of our first house.  I got a wire frame and a paddle of green floral wire, as per her instructions, and made a pretty awesome fall berry wreath for my front door.  It actually lasted a few years!  I also learned to wire all the glass ornaments on my tree from her.  I keep that same paddle of wire in my xmas decoration box.  And yes, I wire every single glass ball ornament (100+) to my tree.  I like how it looks like they "grew" off the branch.  (Am I starting to sound like a total nut job?!  LOL!)

This may make me sould like a bad mom, but I've never let my girls decorate the tree before.  I mean, I always put on all the breakable stuff first, and then I let them put all their special ornaments on.  This year, my youngest, who is 12, really wanted to do the tree from the beginning.  So I showed her how to wire the ornaments to the tree, starting with the large ones at the bottom, medium size in the middle, and small at the top, etc. 

Then I went through all my "rules".  I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I surprised myself at just how neurotic I am about decorating the tree.  Ornaments have to be free hanging, placed according to size, colours evenly distributed, no crowding, no hanging ornamants from the garland, all ornaments with a front need to face front, angels near the top because they are flying ... I have a TON of rules.  I think I need to lighten up a bit.

Anyhow, she finished one box of balls and was so proud of herself for finishing them ... until I pulled out the other 7 boxes!  Poor thing.  I ended up finishing the job alone.

Anita, that ribbon poinsettia wreath was FABULOUS!  So happy you made it.  I think you should dig it out, dust it off and enjoy it again.  I know you put lots of time and effort into it!

Please keep your stories coming.  I love reading them. :)

*   *   *   *   *

Hello?

Did I lose anyone?  That was a rather long preamble that I didn't expect to write.  Thanks for sticking around.

*   *   *   *   *

One of the reasons I haven't been here as often as I'd like is because I somehow got myself some magazine work this year.  Getting published is always fun, but it means I have to keep my projects a secret until the magazines are published.  So now that all the cats are out of the bags, here they are ...

First is a table runner I made with Little Joys by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose Fabrics.  This design is a coordinate for this stockings pattern I published a few months ago. 

Super simple, super quick, machine applique, glue on some buttons and there you go!

Next, the stockings I showed on IG.  These are my favourite.  Also made with Little Joys from Elea Lutz.  May was a busy Christmas month for me!  LOL! 

A few things about these ...

See the lace cuff on Stocking #1?  Jodi at Pleasant Home gifted it to me a few years ago.  That was such a special surprise.  Read about it here

And then just yesterday, my adorable friend Greg from Greydogwood Studio used this pattern as a jumping off point for a cute rendition of Lori Holt's Granny Squared improv!  Oh they turned out so cute.  You really need to check them out here.  This sort of thing right here is what makes our amazing online community so wonderful.  :)

Ok, next is a little EPP hexie pencil case I made for Love Patchwork & Quilting.  I remember finishing this off in August while on vacation in Palm Springs this summer.  Good times. :)

And finally, Australian Homespun.  I can't say that this one took me any time to do.  They asked if they could publish this project that I blogged a few years ago.  Here's the original post.  Those cute little leggings are long gone now, and the weird thing is that I can't remember which one of my daughters belongs to the legs in the photo! LOL!

So there you have them.  I hope you're inspired to make one, a few, or all of these projects.  They all came from my heart and hands for you.

xo k

Friday
Dec182015

beaded cranberry wreath a la martha stewart circa 1996

Does anyone remember this stunning wreath from the cover of a Martha Stewart Living magazine?  If I have my dates right, she did a fresh cranberry version in 1995, and then this beaded one the following year.  I have the magazines somewhere ... but no inclination to find dig them out for this blog post.  I'm sure you could google it.

Back then, I was newly married with no children (translation, tons of free time).  I actually ordered the specific beads listed in the instructions (remember, this was pre-internet days) from a little shop somewhere in New York.  They were pricy!  But I wanted to make this wreath exactly the same in the.worst.way.

I remember sitting in front of the tv sticking all the pins into a bag of poly stuffing so I could paint each and every little pinhead with nailpolish.  Yes.  Yes I did.  I was that banana-nuts-crazy.

Twenty years later, I still love this wreath as much as the day I made it.  I used to hang it on a mirror above our (fake) mantle in our old house.  It didn't get put out last year 'cause we were still "unpacking".  But last week I stuck one of those 3M adhesive hooks on the inside of my front door and hung it.  The beads are glass and surprisingly heavy.  Fingers crossed that it doesn't fall! 

The old bow had seen better days so I gave it a new double-faced satin ribbon and trimmed the edges with scalloped scissors, just like Martha's.  I think maybe the tails are a tad too long.  I might trim them later.

Did you ever do a craft from Martha Stewart Living magazine?  What was it?  Do you still have it?

xo k

Wednesday
Dec162015

santa hat mini

So I was rushing out of the grocery store the other day, in a hurry as usual, when a Christmas card caught my eye.  I didn't have time to stop, but I made a mental note of this adorable design idea--a tree made of little Santa hats!

I played around for a bit - best therapy out there, by the way - pieced or appliqued (applique won because it was faster to design and make),  size (the design fits 8.5 x 11 for easy pattern printing) and colours - the white trim/pompom on the hats meant no white background so I ran to my default Essex linen in Natural by Robert Kaufman.  It hasn't failed me yet.

I'm super happy with this Scandanavian-style Christmas mini.  I imagine it's something one might find in Ikea.  It was great to use up some of those shirt buttons I salvage by the dozen and end up ignoring in my button jar.

And gotta love that Anthropologie handle ribbon.

I cheated like heck on this one.  Hardly any sewing.  I fused the ribbon, glued the buttons and twine bows (which I'm sure came from Tilda bundles) and didn't do any top-stitching.  I didn't even stitch down the hat trims.  I was going to, but then ... nah, I didn't.  It's going on the wall anyways so who cares?  Not me!

It's hung it in the stairwell that leads to my sewing room where it's nice and bright and sunny.  I'll try to get a free PDF pattern up this weekend. :)

Now I'm craving a shabby chic version of this ... think aqua and pink ... mmmm ...

xo k

Sunday
Nov292015

little tiny wee toy buckets ... 

... because to call them "small" just isn't nearly as effective.

Let me go back to the beginning.  Yesterday was a very busy day.  I had a ton of things to do but I felt like doing absolutely zero of these things. 

So I did what I always do when I'm feeling stressed ... looked for a pleasant distraction.  To my credit, I actually started with the best of intentions by trying to tidy up my sewing room.  But that accidentally lead to discovering said distraction in the form of one of those super cute little mini charm packs of Lecien's Child Smile.

Ok.  You know I don't have little kids anymore.  My young teen girls would rather die than own anything cute I make.  And I usually look for "useful" excuses to sew - like all the birthday pouches you've seen around here lately.  But I looked at this sweet little packet of fabric and, although I could not justify making something "little kiddy", I decided what the heck. So I told myself I was just going to arrange the squares into whatever size it would be, sew them together, and then set is aside for another day.

Uh.  Oops!  I accidentally did a little more than that. I hemmed and hawed - as I do - because I wasn't finished procrastinating - and suddenly got inspired to turn the 2.5" squares into little tiny wee toy baskets.  Why not, right?  They're supposed to be "nesting" baskets, but let's be honest here ... they will never nest because they will always be full of toys!

I meant for the handles to go on the sides, like a bushel bucket, but when I grabbed one to move it, it all of a sudden looked really cute with the handles on the front and back like a little tote.  So that's how I photographed them.

And I was going to stitch up some tags that said "Small Toys" and "Smaller Toys" (because "Little Toys" and "Littler Toys" is grammatically incorrect, and "Wee Toys" and Wee-er Toys" was just weird), but then I was getting close to wanting to finish my procrastination session and needed to finish asap.  So I found these tags in my sewing table that I bought years ago and have never used, and the cute little stickers were a thoughtful gift from Minki (my sweet IG friend) and thought they were perfect labels!

Oh, and I had to dig around to find the long-forgotten Tupperware set that my girls loved playing with.  I love Tupperware. 

Now I need to find a littler person to love these buckets as much as I do!

xo k

Saturday
Nov142015

another purple pouch ...

What is it with teenage girls liking purple these days?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  I like purple.  I'm just feeling a little sheepish that this is the second purple pouch in a month I'm offering you here.  I'd think you would appreciate a little variety.

Hope you don't mind.

I certainly don't mind getting to use my favourite Gingher scissors as a photo prop ;)

Polkadot fabrics are by Lecien.  Linen is Essex by Robert Kaufman.

xo k

PS:  Honey label available here!

Sunday
Oct252015

i'm teaching a weekend workshop for the alberta quilt study society ...

and there are a few spots available. 

I'll be talking a little bit about feedsacks and their history.  And then we'll be making 2 projects: 

  • a "Feedsack Shopper", which is a pattern I designed specially for this workshop
  • and Amy Sinibaldi graciously gave me permission to teach the little zippered pouch pattern from her book "Sweetly Stitched Handmades".  We'll be using feedsack scraps for the patchwork.

In a nutshell, here are the patriculars:

  • Dates:  Nov 14-15, 9:00 - 4:00 both days
  • Location: St Andrews Community Hall, NW
  • Fee:  $160
  • First day includes a one hour talk on the history of feedsacks
  • Both patterns and all supplies are provided EXCEPT you need to bring one yard of fabric for the lining of your shopping bag
  • Shopping Bag is 9” x 12” x 12”
  • Pouch is 4.5” x 6"

If you're interested, please email me - mail@prettybyhand.com - and I'll send you the newsletter with the registration form.

I hope you can come out to play!  If you're a feedsack fan, I don't need to explain the joys of working with these wonderful, vintage textiles.  If you're new to feedsacks, I'll be delighted to open the door for you to their fascinating history.  And by the end of the weekend you'll have two handmade Christmas gifts that you can either give to your favourite people, or ... you know ... keep for yourself. ;)

xo k

Sunday
Oct182015

how to end the weekend properly

With a little sewing, of course.  And better yet if it's with your favourite fabric that magically appeared on your doorstep earlier in the week.

I was invited to be a Flower Sugar World Ambassador on Instagram and ... well ... you know I said yes. :)  I managed to find an hour again today to make this jelly clasp purse. 

The dot lining is from my Flower Sugar stash from a few years ago.  That's the lovely thing about this collection - they always coordinate.

That's all.  Hope you have a great week ahead!

Saturday
Oct172015

what's purple and cute and more fun than netflix?

Ok!  Well, now ... the last thing I thought I'd be doing last nite is making a little last-minute gift card holder for my daughter's friend's birthday present, that's for sure.  It was Friday nite.  It had been a very busy week - including a trip to the mall to buy the gift card - and I was done.  Or so I thought.

Apparently we don't have any nice gift bags/wrapping in the closet. 

Now, you know me.  I'd really rather not leave the house, especially on a dark Friday nite when I've already got my fuzzy socks on.  So instead of running out to the store, I decided it was "easier" to make a little gift pouch instead.  It's what I do, make birthday gifts for little girls.  It's my thing.

I ALWAYS used to make super cute things for birthday gifts when my daughters were invited to parties.  But teenagers don't want sweet little purses with ruffles and bows, or tooth-fairy pillows ... and I'm sure I've made all their friends at least a few pencil cases over the years.  But this year my daughter reeeally wanted to give a gift certificate to a clothing store. 

Sigh.  Ok.  But it didn't occur to me until she couldn't find a nice gift box or bag or even wrapping paper that I had the perfect opportunity to still do "my thing" and make a gift card pouch!

It measures about 3.5" x 5".  The stripe is Old/New 30's and check is Petit Fleur, both about four years old, both by Lecien.  I did a little happy dance when I found a purple zipper in the bottom of my zipper bin (yes, I have a zipper bin ... don't judge ... it has saved me many a trip to the fabric store, case in point!).  Lace was a scrap.  I almost used white lace, but I didn't want this pouch to look TOO similar to the one I did last week with the same stripe fabric but in orange.

I love it when I'm "forced" to spend an hour on a Friday nite making something cute and useful.  It's so much more rewarding than surfing Netflix for an hour, no? ;) xo k

Saturday
Oct102015

she's not me ... and that's a good thing

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians!  I've got store-bought pumpkin pie defrosting in the fridge and I'm sure my mother-in-law is whipping up the most delicious turkey with all the best homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatos ... ... ... .  I've already planned my outfit for tomorrow's feast.  It includes a black jersey dress with no waistband or buttons or zippers.  It's pretty much pajamas disguised as something appropriate for a holiday family gathering. I will throw on a nice cardigan and maybe a necklace to fool everyone.  ;)

Ok.  Sigh.  I have no time or inclination for large sewing projects these days.  So on weekends such as these, I try to start and finish something that is quick, fun, and creative.  I managed to accomplish that already and it's only dinner time on Saturday!  Woohoo!

I hope you aren't tired of my little coin purses.  I got five kits (if you're paying attention, you'll know this is the third) from Zakka Workshop and of course my daughters asked if I might one for each of them.  They've been sitting on my desk here, waiting patiently to be made.  I had so much fun with the pumpkin version last week I decided I could manage another one. 

However, my 12-year-old has a strong sense of her own style and as a good mom, I need to respect that.  So when I ask her what colours/fabrics she'd like, and she picks two of my favourite polkadots (by Lakehouse Drygoods) that I wouldn't normally pair together, I gotta be ok with that.  And when she won't let me embellish with buttons of bows or lace, I gotta be ok with that too.

So.

This is what she asked me for (I suggested a few different patchwork options and she picked checkerboard, and then I went rogue on her and set it on point, which as it turns out, she is ok with thank goodness) and this is what she got.

And you know ... the more I look at it, the more I like it.  I mean, polka dots - they are just quite simply the happiest of prints, right?  I happen to be a HUGE fan of this shade of green, blue is her favourite colour, and ... it turned out super cute.  Like my 12-year-old.  :) xo k

Saturday
Oct032015

pumpkin coin purse

I found myself with an unexpectedly quiet house a few nights ago.  I can't say that I had nothing to do, because there's always something around here nagging for my attention.  I know you know what I mean.    But I gave myself permission to ignore all those somethings and spent a happy hour in my sewing room instead.

It was October 1st.  I was craving some Fall colours and this coin purse hardware from Zakka Workshop has been sitting on my desk, patiently waiting for me to make it.

So my mind went to "pumpkin".

The tiny floral print is a new addition to my stash and the stripe - which is literally the ONLY other orange fabric in my stash and I may have had a slight moment of panic when I couldn't find it right away - has been around for quite a while.  Both are Lecien.  And my PamKitty stash had the perfect glowy-moonlit yellow for the lining. :)

And of course ... some lace and a bow.  How else would you know I'm the one who made it?  Funny thing, though, I had the hardest time picking a colour.  Light green, hot pink, deep maroon, white, black, purple ... I auditioned pretty much every skinny ribbon I had.  But I was going for pumpkin and this nice kelly green - that just so happens to match the leaf in the fabric - worked the best.

Are you doing any Halloween/Fall sewing?

Sunday
Sep272015

farm girl vintage blog hop

 

Oops.  I'm a little bit late with this block.  My week was in early August.  I don't know why but I was SURE I was in October! But better late than never, right?  (Please say right!)

So I'm sure you've been watching this blog hop hosted by Fat Quarter Shop and it's pretty hard to not be inspired to grab this book, some fabric, and just start sewing.  This block is called "Out to Pasture" (insert horrible joke here).  It's a cute little nine-patch framed with partial seams.  You may recall I wrote a tutorial on partial seams a few years ago, so ... we go way back. ;)

If you've never tried partial seams, this is a great way to learn.  They're fun.

FYI, I used Lecien's current Child Smile fabric and a random white on white from my stash.

Saturday
Sep262015

zakkaart

 

If you don't know the talented Wynn behind ZakkaArt, then I am grateful to be the one who get to introduce you to her.  She is - by far - one the sweetest ladies in blogland with one of the prettiest styles out there.

Case in point, my most recent creation - a coin pouch kit she designed and made.

This was such a joy to make.  It literally came in the mail about 40 hours ago.  Once I started it I was doing little else in my spare time.  It is so much fun.  And it did not touch the sewing machine.  This little cutie is 100% handmade - all the patchwork piecing, the quilting, and the assembly. 

And that doesn't even include how perfect every single fabric is for me!  Pink, aqua, white, bows, strawberries, flowers ... even the bias cut gingham binding ... all of it is absolute perfection.

Pure joy.  That's what this project was for me.

Thank you Wynn, from the  bottom of my heart.  I'm honoured to call you friend. xo

Monday
Sep072015

"alice in wonderland" cheater panel slim tote(s) tutorial

Bah!  What in the world ...???

That's what you're thinking, right?  You, dear quilter, are looking at this one-yard-cheater-panel and thinking, "Well, it's really adorable with the classic Alice illustrations and silhouettes and all, but I can't quilt with THAT!"

Maybe, maybe not.  (I thought it would make an interesting backing for a baby quilt, or cool aprons, or cushions ...)

However.

That's not what I'm going to show you today.

Nope.  I have a better idea.

I found this fantastic Alice-in-Wonderland cheater panel by Lecien over at Fort Worth Fabric Studio and I turned into the easiest little slim tote bag.  (Slim = flat)

Actually, I turned this one-yard panel into TWO slim totes.

TWO!

Yes.  Yes I did.  Keep scrolling ... you'll see.

And when I say easiest, I mean e.a.s.i.e.s.t.  This bag is as simple as it gets.  But the fabric is so cute, no one will notice that you only spent an hour making it.  Seriously.  (If I sound a little punchy, that's because it's 3:30 a.m. and I've got insomnia ... )

So if you're a quilter and can sew a straight line, you can make this tote. 

*     *     *     *     *

Here's my really quick tutorial for you.

To make TWO slim tote bags, you will need:

  • 1 yard of Alice cheater panel (click here to find a great selection of designs and colours)
  • 2 - 14" x 24" lining fabric (click here to find coordinating Alice scatter prints - so cute!)
  • 2 - 14" x 24" batting pieces (I prefer fusible fleece, but regular quilt batting works just fine)
  • 2 - 1" x 24" batting strips for long handles
  • 2 - 1" x 12" batting strips for short handles

Note - if you only want to make one tote, use the body of the second bag as your lining.  :)

Cut the panel into horizontal strips like this:

*     *     *     *     *

FOR LONG-HANDLED VERSION:

FOR SHORT-HANDLED VERSION:

*     *     *     *     *

 Step 1.

Make handles.

Step 2.

Pin or spray baste one batting piece to the wrong side of the body fabric.  Quilt as desired.  (I just followed the vertical stripes so I didn't have to think.)

Step 3.

Fold the body, right sides together, and sew along the side and bottom. 

Step 4.

Turn right side out and press.

Step 5.

Baste the handles in place.

Step 6.

To make the lining, repeat Step 3 with one lining piece, but leave a 4" opening along the bottom seam.  Keep the lining inside out.

Step 7.

Insert the bag (right side out) into the lining (inside out).  Pin the lining to the bag and sew them together around the top edge.

Step 8.

Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining and stitch the hole closed.  Tuck the lining inside the bag and sew a row of top-stitching 1/8" around the top edge of the bag.

 Embellish as you like, or not.

So, here they are!

Do you like them? Again, you can find a great selection of prints and colours from this Alice collection by Lecien here, and even more coordinating prints here, over at Fort Worth Fabric Studio.

But here's where it gets even better - you don't need a cheater panel to make this bag, you can use ANY fabric.  You can adjust the size of this pattern to whatever you like - make it taller, shorter, wider, narrower, and even adjust the length of the handles to suit yourself.  Create your own "cheater panel" with patchwork or applique, or just use a favourite print.  It doesn't matter.

Are you inspired yet?  Happy slim-tote-making. :) xo k