Friday, October 16, 2009

Christmas Gift Class

Last year for sewing class, we made tote bags, crayon roll-ups, criss-cross coasters and quilted notebook covers. This year we are have more projects but they require less sewing time. We will be working on 7 projects with a total of 15 items to make that day. The great thing about the projects chosen is that they can all be made with scraps or small amounts of fabric. These are a great way to go green and use up what you have. I don't claim to be the brainchild of these items, I'm just spend a lot of time scouring the internet for projects.

Our first project is a lingerie bag. You can use this either for traveling or for a laundry bag. The fabrics that I've chosen are a linen/cotton blend. I found these on clearance at Hancock Fabrics. We will be making a lavender sachet and lavender dryer bags out of the left over linen. The lavender is curing and smells wonderful.

We will be making a set of 4 quilted note cards. The fabric that I've chosen is charm squares by Moda. The line is Glace by 3 Sisters. We will also be using decorative threads and decorative stitches on the cards.

The potato bags really didn't meet my objectives on learning a new technique but they are so popular that we are going to make them. We will be using flannel and discussing the safety of materials for these bags. We'll make one with the potato fabric and flannel, and another bag out off two plain cottons.

The key fobs will probably be are quickest gift. These can be embellished with grosgrain ribbon or fabric. Satin ribbon is not recommended for this because satin will not withstand the amount of abuse that goes on in a woman's purse. Well at least in my purse! The key fobs should take about 10 minutes each. We are using 1.25" cotton webbing.

Our final project will be to chenille a hot pad. The chenille process works best with flannel but I have decided to use quilting cottons since this is a beginner project. The hot pads become very thick with so many layers of flannel and batting. In addition to the layer of batting, we will be working with Insul-Bright. This product is made from The Warm Company. This helps to deflect the heat back to it's energy source and away from the user. Yes, my know myhotpad looks a little wonky. I needed to square it up better. I also put the binding on differently. I won't be doing that again.

So we will be busy. There is still lots for me to do. I am working on lingerie sketches. I've got the teddy and underwear down. I still need to sketch out some pieces of Victorian lingerie. I've got to order our drawstring cord stops for the lingerie bags, cotton thread and shop for more drawstring. I took that last two rolls of it at Wal-Mart. I haven't tallied up the expenses recently. I'm hoping still to be around $20 for all supplies. I keep waiting for Hobby Lobby to put the note cards on sale. It's hard for this German to pay full price. Rest assured that I have made most of the mistakes that can happen. So I think I'm confident that I have most of the bugs worked out of these projects.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Bag Lady Lives Here

I love tote bags. Bags of all sizes. Canvas, nylon, it doesn't matter. I would switch my bags up that I hauled stuff in depending on my mood and what I needed to haul. Free bags are especially special. Last year on one of my Yahoo groups, I kept seeing pictures of bags made out of pet mesh. I had already made a couple of zippered pouches out of the pet mesh so I wasn't too fearful of the tote bag. Did a little bit of investigating and found out the pattern was from Nancy Ota. She actually has several patterns for pet mesh. You can purchase the pet mesh in the window screen dept at Home Depot. That is the cool thing about sewing, you can find supplies and gadgets in places other than the fabric store. So with my charge card in hand, I plugged my information in and a few short days later I received my patterns. This bag is very roomy and extremely strong. One of the great things is that it only takes about 3 hours to stitch up.

A few months ago, I decided to make a bag for my friend. I was hoping to finish this around the time we went to Italy. Not for her to bring but just to have to remember our trip by. I wanted to use fabric that I thought represented Italy, the sunsets, the ceramics, the colors of the stucco. Well, this fabric was really the best I could find. I finished this bag last week. It wouldn't be an Ellen project unless it took months to finish! When I went shopping for the fabric, I decided that I also wanted a matching bag. Mine has yet to be made, maybe in another few months. I do have the pet mesh cut out though.

The key fobs were made this afternoon. I decided to stitch out the embroidery after the fabric was stitched down onto the cotton webbing. I thought it would be better. I don't think I'll do that again. The stitch out is a little wonky due to the webbing. The lettering would have been much smoother had I just embroidered on the fabric then stitched it onto the webbing. Live and learn I guess. BTW, I found a tutorial on a sewing blog for the key fob.

Kim has been patiently awaiting a copy of all my pictures from Italy. I was waiting until I finished her bag. Now with her key fob and bag finished, it can go off in the mail.

Move-In Day

This was the day that both Jeff and I had been dreading. The youngest birdie was ready to leave the nest. But Jeff and I weren't quite ready for it. Certainly it was a time that Jeff and I had talked about. Freedom for us both. No more soccer in 40 degree weather, no more quick runs to the grocery store for items needed for school the next day, no digging thru the laundry looking for a missing uniform, you get the picture. However it's bittersweet. Our freedom comes at the expense of being alone. Not having a child around or the friends filling the house. But this is a time to celebrate. We were able to keep all three girls on the straight and narrow. All three doing well with Lauren and Whitney gainfully employed with places of their own. The feelings of sorrow were deeper with Taylor. No, she's not the favorite. She is the last one. As the other two left the nest, I knew that we had another child at home that would keep us busy. As we said goodbye and walked away from her, I felt like I was delivering her to a prison. I had such sadness. But things are going well for Taylor. She is feeling more comfortable with Whitewater each day. Doesn't her room vaguely remind you of a prison cell?