Squeezing in some Saturday Sewing

I spent yesterday running around shopping (no, not for fabric, because I am Stash Bustin’ until the end of April) but I was able to squeeze in a little sewing.

I wanted to work a little more on the triangle pouch I did the other day. I made a few improvements and I am very happy how it turned out. I used craft fuse this time, rather than batting….that made a huge difference. And I made it larger, but I can’t decide if it is too large! I also used two different fabrics this time, and put the green fabric on the inside lining. It still has a middle seam running down the bottom but it doesn’t bug me as much this time with pretty fabric. I also decided that I absolutely want a serger to complete the inside seams! I will have to work on getting one.

The pouch I made the other day (below) and the one I made last night (above).
Note the size difference!

And I did a better job with the zipper. I like adding a little bit of fabric at the ends of the zipper, so the zipper doesn’t start or top right a the edges of the piece. It looks much better!

Front view. I have to confess I chose these fabrics mainly because
I wanted to use up my green zipper, but they look great together. The
one problem I ran into was not having green thread…so I used white.

I also had time to make a bunch of the Sani-Pack Pocket Tissue Holders I was working on a few weeks ago…ok, 16 to be exact. Some will go in my dad’s store, and I might pop up a few on Etsy. I sent a few to family and they loved them!

I had previously cut up all the fabric but this project got stalled when my machine broke. Feels kind of good to actually finish something!

I used 2 different Orange/Pink fabrics and mixed them up between the packs.

Front and back view of the Sani-pack, along with the
Hand sanitizing cloths, Band-aids, and Kleenex that go inside.

Finally Sewing Again

So my sewing machine broke and I had to get it repaired, then I went out of town the day I picked it up. So I haven’t sewn anything in nearly 3 weeks! I have to say I was definitely missing it! Of course my Mom thought I was ridiculous because I told her I was dying to make something and be crafty…but she is craft-impaired, so clearly she doesn’t understand the urge!

Anyway, I spent far too long figuring out what I wanted to sew first because I am still on the search for quick things to sew and sell. Then I remembered that last week one of my co-workers was showing me a “trianglie-ish” pouch her mother made her and I had seen something like it before that I had been thinking about making, so I whipped one up as my first project on my freshly oiled machine.

And as per the STASH BUSTIN’ challenge I embarked on yesterday from the T-Shirt Diaries, I used scraps I had laying around.

Dimensions are about 6″ long, 4.5 wide, and 4.5 tall.

It came out pretty nice and of course I am already thinking about fixes for the next version. I used batting but I didn’t use stabilizer, so it wasn’t quite as firm as I would have liked.

And the middle seam at the bottom is driving me crazy so I am thinking about how to fix that.

I may try to redo the size of the pieces and some how shift the seams to sides of the bottom. We’ll see what I come up with!

Stash Bustin’

Ok, my friend Janna decided to participate in the Spring Stashbusting Challenge that is happening over at the T-Shirt Diaries. That got me thinking how I am a fabric hoarder and spend more time planning and shopping than I do sewing sometimes, so I decided to throw my hat in for the challenge also. So I am committing to abstaining from any craft supply purchase unless absolutely necessary for a period of 30 days. ***March 22nd through April 22nd to be exact***

This is my cotton stash:

And this is my heavier fabric stash:

I know…it is ridiculous how much fabric I have. I could probably sew off of it for a year or two. I try not to add it up in my head how much I have spent on fabric, but AT LEAST I got almost every bit of it on sale. That has to count for something! And I have accumulated more this year because I am working on starting an Etsy store and making some things to sell in my dad’s T-shirt store. I do have to confess that I will need to order some more zippers to finish some things, but I believe that falls in the parameters of rules. Plus, my addiction is really only to cotton fabric, and not really the notions. But still…I am committed to the challenge! I am also challenging myself not to go to JoAnn’s or Hancock Fabric for the same term. It would just be asking for trouble if I did.

One good thing that came out of the challenge so far though is that I had to organize my sewing room and put a ton of stuff away so I could take the picture. So Saturday when I get to spend the day sewing I will have a nice clean space to work on!

Ok, so there…you know my dirty laundry. Wish me luck!

Biased against Binding

I have mentioned before that I don’t do many quilts because they seem to take forever…and they certainly do. But, I decided to make my sister, Christie, a simple quilt because she has been confined to bed rest for the duration of her pregnancy (she is due in June!) and I wanted her to have something nice while incubating the baby. I can’t be with her because she lives in Seattle and I live in Houston, so this is my contribution.

So I threw this together in a few days though the project took 2 weeks to completion because I kept dragging my feet finishing it. The cause of the apprehension…binding.

I don’t like binding quilts. I actually don’t really like the quilting part much either. The piecing is probably my favorite. In fact, I have several quilt tops that are already pieced but yet may never see the light of day as a quilt. Anyway, I have always cheated and used pre-made (and not as nice) bias binding. This time I decided to make my own binding that matched the quilt. I should probably mention here that I semi cheated on the backing by using a fleece as a back, not batting and another piece of cotton. But it is because I wanted it to be soft and warm on the back side. I probably should have just sewn the fleece and top on wrong sides and then just turned it in, then quilted it, but I though I would try to do it properly. Next time, I don’t think I will.

So, making the binding was interesting and I kind of butchered it…but once you do the double fold you really couldn’t tell. I referenced tutorials from Buzzville and Modern Quilt Love.

I still didn’t attach the binding right…I just stuck it on and did a zig-zag stitch. But I wasn’t about to do it right by using the the hidden stitch to secure it by hand. I don’t sew with my hands. Period. If I have to hand sew it, I won’t do it. That is why people invented sewing machines…to sew. We all have our lines…that is mine.

Anyway, I am pretty ok with how the whole project turned out, but I don’t think I will be doing anything soon that I have to bind. I am pretty comfortable with my skill level when it comes to sewing random things, but I admit that I suck at binding. However, I know my sister will be in love with the quilt and not knit-pick it like I would. It is amazing that if you make something you can find 1000 things wrong with it that no one else does. I also made matching pillowcases that rocked. I was pretty proud of those.

For a major part of the project, I used the Oceanica fabric from In the Beginning. I love the ocean and mermaids and sea stars, and as soon as I saw the fabric I had to buy it, for Christie. It also feels very NW Pacific, which I knew my sister would love. I also mixed in some random things, including several batik patterns. I always have a hard time sewing with batiks…I can never find things I feel they go with. But they were perfect for this quilt. I still have a hard time with colors, only because I am such a perfectionist that I am scared I will pick something that doesn’t “go”. But I have worked hard to try to accept that sometimes not matching perfectly looks even better. I am also a big fan of brick shaped blocks. I think they feel more modern than using square blocks. But I usually do them in nice rows, rather than a brick road pattern. And it is a quick project to sew. If you don’t bind it, that is…

I appliqued several sea stars in a matching batik and I made two matching pillowcases.
I love this fabric! I liked being able to use the Oceanica fabric for the entire pillowcase.
I also sewed the same batik I used for the sea stars into the pillowcase as an embellishment.
PS- Sorry about the bad lighting! The colors are much rich in person. Hopefully I can get her to send me a pic once she gets it.
**UPDATE** – My sister sent me this pic of my nieces and nephew huddled in the quilt I made her. Aren’t they adorable?? :)