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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another Sewing Caddy

This is the fourth one I’ve made this year and by far my favorite.  I made it for my friend Stephanie for Christmas.  She LOVED it!  If mine didn’t look so used I might have swapped.  It’s really all about the colors and 30’s fabric for me on this one. 




Stay tuned.  I’ll be posting more handmade Christmas presents soon.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The cutest elephant ever

for baby boy Allard due in the spring of 2010.



I used some of my 30’s reproduction fabric.  The pattern is Simplicity 2613.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Apron Club BOM I

Remember a couple of months ago I posted that I had signed up for another Block Of The Month?  Well, I received my first block with all the fabric and notions I needed to complete it.  I’m still pretty new at hand applique but this didn’t seem too bad.  Yeah right.    Block 1 is the full apron in the lower left hand corner.  If you look closely you can see that the pockets on the apron has cherries, leaves and ric rac.  All that on a tiny pocket.


OMG!  I made about 6 cherries and was quickly running out of the fabric that was sent.  I sent away for these little circle templates called Perfect Circles.  These little templates worked great.  Now onto the leaves.  Let me start out by saying that the fabric they sent was a twill that raveled quite a bit.  I had so much trouble and made so many leaves that I ran out of fabric.  I perused by fabric stash for something suitable but didn’t have anything I liked.  At this point I was so frustrated with this project that I didn’t care about cherries or leaves anymore.  I decided to leave them out.  The fabric they sent for the pocket was a plain yellow and was blah without the fruit.  Forget everything.


It looks naked!  It needs something!  Back to the fabric stash.  I found my 30’s reproduction fat quarters and liked the way this yellow looked with the apron.


I made the pockets sans the cherries, leaves and ric rac, added cute buttons and here is the final BOM.




Looks good.  I can live with this although I’m bummed out that I couldn’t get the leaves looking right.   I looked ahead to block two and heaven help me…it has bacon and eggs on it!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Camera Bag for Alicia

My friend Pam’s daughter Alicia will be spending next semester in Australia.  She purchased a nice camera this past summer to bring with her.  She’s been unable to find the perfect camera bag.  She’d like something small enough to fit in other bags or to be able to carry it on it’s own…something nice to protect her little investment.

Alicia: Do you think Elaine could make something?

Pam: I’ll ask.

Me: OK.

I got the dimensions of the camera and went to work.  I picked two fabrics from Anna Maria Horner’s new Good Folks collection.  I quilted the bottom of the bag to make it “cushiony”.  I made a removable, adjustable strap so she could use the bag on its own or tuck away the strap and place the whole thing in another bag.  The bag has a pull string closure.  Two coats of Scotch Guard and done!  I LOVE the fabric combination.  I will have to do something for myself with these 2 fabrics.



I requested a picture of Alicia with her new bag from Australia.  I’ll post it as soon as I get it.  Hope it’s the perfect bag.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Utility Apron

If you haven’t purchased the newly released One Yard Wonders then you are missing out.


This book has the best little projects using 1 yard of fabric or less.

My daughter has been doing craft fairs selling her jewelry.  I went with her to the first craft fair.  I decided that we would need some sort of utility apron to keep our money, cell phone and other odds and ends.  My husband is a carpenter and uses them for nails and things.  I borrowed 2 from my him.  Mine was plain and slightly stained and hers was clean but had “Manny’s Hardware” written across the front.  They served the purpose but we needed something much cuter.  I remembered seeing a great little apron in this book.  I decided to use a heavier weight decorator fabric…some Amy Butler in a beautiful sateen finish.  It has 2 layers of pockets, 6 in all.  I actually made 2 because when my friend Pam saw the one I made for my daughter well…



It was a huge hit with the other vendors when she wore it last weekend.  Sorry I don’t take orders.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Tic Tac Toe Revisited

Remember the little Tic Tac Toe game I made?


Well, when I showed my friend Pam she remembered a Tic Tac Toe pillow made for her by her Aunt Norma Richmond.  The pillow was square and about 2 inches thick.  The Tic Tac Toe grid was made with ribbon sewn onto the top  and there was a pocket on the back to store the playing pieces.  Aunt Norma also made one for Pam’s sister Beth.  Pam found her sister’s game last week while cleaning out the toy room.  She thinks this little game is about 40 years old.  The playing pieces are made of craft felt. 





Front with playing pieces.


Unfortunately some of the face components were lost over the years.  Very cute Aunt Norma!  I bet you never thought you’d be seeing pictures of this well loved game on someone’s blog 40 years after making it?  Oh look Pam, I win again!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

If it’s a little chilly,

and you can’t find the dog,

and you call her name and she doesn’t come,

and then you search the house and still can’t find her,

and then you make a sweep of the back yard and still nothing,

and then you search the house again and still no dog,

then you may want to check here:



Clearly someone needs a refresher course on the “come” command.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Pam’s Purse

After receiving several email hints and links to a cute bag on Moda Bake Shop I caved.  Well, not really.  Her birthday was coming up and she REALLY appreciates handmade so I made the requested bag for her.

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The bottom is quilted and has pockets all the way around…6 in all.  The inside has a small cell phone pocket and one slightly larger.  She loved it!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Maria!

Now that Maria has received her present I can show it here.  This is the third time I’ve made one of these sewing caddies.  I made one for me and one for Lisa.  I guess I forgot to take a picture of Lisa’s.  Maybe she’ll see this post and send me one.  Anyway, I can’t believe how I managed without one of these all this time.  I knew this would be perfect for Maria.  She knits, crochets and embroiders beautifully and I hope she has many good crafting times with her new caddy.  Happy Birthday Maria!



Sunday, October 18, 2009

More Key Fobs

Remember when I made key fobs as wedding shower favors for my daughters wedding last year?  Well, I’m at it again.  My daughter signed us up for a craft fair being held at a school in Bristol, RI on Nov 7th.  I still had a package of key fob hardware (about 50 pieces) left over.  I decided to purchase 5 different colors of cotton webbing this time instead of all brown and to use fabric scraps instead of ribbon to decorate them.  The fabric really did the trick.  They are a little more work to make but well worth it.



A little Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, some 30’s and retro reproductions and voila!  SO pretty.  Let’s just hope they sell!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

BOM Quilt Finished!

Remember the Mystery Designer Block of the Month Club I joined last year?  If not, you can see pictures here and here.  Well, I sent it off to the machine quilters and got it back sometime in late September.  She did a great job!  Now for the binding.  I had all the binding ready and when I got the quilt home I promptly sewed it on.  I then spent the next few nights hand stitching the binding down.  I really enjoy the “binding” part of the quilt but I have to stop after an hour or so because my wrist starts to hurt.


I LOVE the backing fabric.  There were 2 choices available and I chose this one.  I can’t even remember the other now.


A look at some of the machine quilting.  So pretty.  She used a feather pattern.



I have another smaller quilt at the machine quilters.  I used Fairy Tip Toes Meranda by Tina Givens.  I’ll post as soon as I get it back.  Wait until you see what I did with the scraps!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Tree Top Fancy

Tree Top Fancy is the name of a fabric collection by Tina Givens.  I fell in love with this fabric.  I ordered a fat quarter bundle in the papaya colorway.  Soooooo pretty.  I made my friend Wendy this cute over the shoulder bag from this fabric for her birthday.  I used a bag pattern from the latest issue of Quilts and More.  It has cotton batting between the outer fabric and lining giving the bag some support.



Last year I made my daughter a wallet for her birthday to go with her Skie bag.  She really likes this wallet but after 1 1/2 years of use it’s starting to look a little dingy.  I should have sprayed the wallet with Scotch Guard to help protect it from getting dirty.  Oh well.  Anyway, I made her another with this fabric.  One slight modification to the pattern to accommodate fat quarters and I was in business.



This bag has 12 card holders, a zip pouch, a velcro pouch and storage behind each of the card holder areas.  This is the fourth one I’ve made.  I think the next one will be for me.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Itty Bitty Hats

I love everything Itty Bitty.  I saw the Itty Bitty Hats book at my local yarn store and had to have it.  That was followed by Itty Bitty Nursery.  And of course the soon to be released Itty Bitty Toys is on order.  These books are wonderful.  Here are 2 hats from Itty Bitty Hats.

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The white doesn’t show up very well but it’s about 1 dozen white knitted roses all sewn to the top.  VERY cute.


Is that not the cutest daisy hat ever?

Monday, September 21, 2009

More Miss N Cuteness

Here are a few more pictures of Miss N modeling little outfits I made for her.  This is the Easy Empire Waist pattern from Amy Butler’s book.  More on that here


This outfit is from Martha Pullen’s Sew Beautiful magazine.

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Love those glasses!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This post is for Tammy

I saw my sister-in-law Tammy on Labor Day.  She mentioned that my blog hasn’t been updated in a while.  What???  An actual person that reads and follows my blog?!  Thanks Tammy.  It’s nice to know that there are people out there…so this one is for you. Smile

Remember the Block of the Month club that I joined in the spring of last year?  Well, I really enjoyed it.  It was fun getting a surprise block in the mail every month and all the fabric to make it.   It’s been a while since the BOM was finished and I decided to try and find another one that would suit me.  I found one.  If you haven’t heard of Lori Holt then you are in for a treat.  She creates the most amazing hand applique quilt patterns with a unique vintage feel.  I’ve been eyeing her Apron Club pattern for a while but didn’t know if I was up for the task.  


Just look at all those incredibly cute aprons.  I’ve tried and been pretty successful with machine applique but applique done by hand takes on a whole other look.  I found an on-line shop hosting a BOM using this very pattern!  The club doesn’t start until November but I’ve been practicing.  I had some Moda toweling  and some fat quarters lying around so I gave it a whirl.  So fun.  There is a lot of prep work but in my opinion, well worth it.  I like this tutorial.  Here is my sample (click picture to enlarge):



I’ll post aprons as they come.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bye bye shawl

I first learned to spin on a top whirl drop spindle.  I had this grand idea that I would knit a shawl from yarn spun on my little drop spindle.  And so I began.  I’d spin until my little spindle was full, wind a center pull ball from my spindle, create a 2 ply yarn from the center pull ball on a slightly heavier spindle.  Move the 2 ply to a niddy noddy and finally soak to set the twist.  Once dry, I would knit my paltry bit of yarn into my SLOWLY growing shawl.  What the hell was I thinking!  A few months after I started this project I got a spinning wheel.


Ahhhh.  I lOVE this wheel.  It’s amazing how much faster I can spin yarn.  I told my spinning instructor that I was going to finish the yarn for my shawl on my new wheel.  She advised against it.  She said that the finished yarn would not match.  Did I listen.  Hell no.  I finished spinning the rest of my fiber on the wheel, and after plying, soaking and drying I was ready to finish my shawl.

All done and ready to be plied.

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The second I started knitting I knew I was in trouble.  The yarn created on the spinning wheel was considerable thinner.  The fabric I was creating was totally different.  I pondered over it for a couple of days.  I brought it to work to show my friend Lisa and get her opinion and in the end, I just couldn’t finish it.  I was never going to be happy with it and there are so many more things that I want to make that I decided to cut it loose.  I suppose there is a lesson to be learned here but I’m not sure what it is yet.



Monday, August 10, 2009


I’ve come across quilts and other sewn items with perfect little hexagons sewn together.  I love the look but thought the process too tedious.  I recently came across the cutest little coaster project using hexagons.  The directions suggested trying English paper piecing and sited a source for these.  They come in different sizes and actually, there are all kinds of shapes to be had.  I placed my order.  Here are my little pieces.  They are similar to a light weight cardstock.  You can cut your own but really, I got 125 pieces for $3.50. 


So, I found bits of fabric (great for using those small pieces hanging around), and proceeded to create little hexagons.  The hexagons were then sewn together by hand, the paper removed and then hand appliqued to some background fabric.  Seems like a lot of work for a coaster but I was just playing around and didn’t want to commit to anything big.  It was actually very easy and this English paper piecing technique yields perfect little hexagons.


I’m not sure I’d make a large quilt with these but they could be used in many other ways.  I also like the fact that this makes a great portable sewing project.