Tote-Ally Awesome Teacher Gift! A Tutorial and a Printable!

I think Teacher Appreciation Week might be this week…. I’ve been seeing a lot about it in the blogosphere, but our school doesn’t celebrate for a couple more weeks!


So since most people seem to be doing it earlier than we do, I thought I’d post my tote bag project. We made a bunch for preschool teachers last year. Actually, my plan is to give these as end of year thank you’s, but I know some of you out there do more for Teacher Appreciation week.


I think my favorite part is the tote bag pocket! I made these and debated on how to print them. Iron-on? Directly on to the fabric? Or Spoonflower? Spoonflower won! It’s sized to print quite a few pockets at once! And in different colors. You are welcome to go and buy it on the Spoonflower site for your own projects!

We are still fans of superheros, and in my book, teachers are pretty  much superheros! I know I could not do what they do! Even though my kiddo just says he plays all day, I am amazed at what his teachers do! And how they have him tricked to thinking he’s playing all day when he’s actually reading! That is some super powers at work!


The kiddo helped me pick out the fabric for each of the bags. I used pretty much all fabrics from my stash! Oh, yeah! Loving using the stash! He even went so far as to pick each fabric for each teacher!


And since the fabrics were all from the stash, the sizes of the bags vary a little here and there!



And we made the tags, too! And we’re sharing the love with ya! You can download the PDF for the tote-ally awesome tags here.


Would you like to make your own tote? You can make it for yourself too, if you’d like!


For materials, it doesn’t take too much. I used a home decorating weight fabric for the totes. More cotton from the stash was used for the lining. The spoonflower fabric for the pockets. And webbing for the straps.


Of course, the first thing is to cut all the pieces! For the top of the bag my pieces were approximately 12×16 inches. The bottom piece is approximately 7×16 inches. You’ll need 2 of each of these. The lining is approximately 18×16 inches and you’ll need 2 pieces. The pocket is 5.5×11 inches. The webbing is 45 inches on each side.


Fold the pocket in half and center it on the front of the bag. Pin it in place. Pin the webbing over the sides of the pockets. Align both the pocket and the webbing with the bottom of the front piece.


Sew on the webbing, stopping an inch from the top of the bag. Do this on the front and back.



Sew the bottom of the bag and the top together, right sides together. And topstitch. Do this for both the front and back.


Now sew the front and back together along both sides and the bottom. Do this for the lining, too. Leave a 3 to 4 inch hole in the lining stitching.



Sew the bottom corners of both the outside and the lining together. Align the seams to create a triangle at the corners. I sewed a 3.5 inch corner. Then cut the corners.


Put the lining inside the bag, right sides together, and sew along the top edge.



Pull the bag out through the hole in the lining. And sew together the hole.


Then topstitch!


And you’ve got a tote! Pretty easy!


And if you make a lot at once, you might just get a little silly!





I might just have to make more!!! Do you think you’d make some?



The Mini Messenger Bag

I got to test a pattern for Katy of The Littlest Thistle! I’ve seen her make some fun bags so I was excited ot try this one.


This one is the Mini Messenger Bag. I’ve made messenger bags before, but I was interested in seeing what made her’s different from the others. One is the size. It’s mini! It is exactly the right size for a kiddo, for sure.

Mini Messenger Bag Pattern Cover

I wanted to make it for my son, but he didn’t want one. At least not until he saw mine…. The picture on the cover is a little girlie and I think he was blinded by the floral fabric. Because when he saw mine in person, even though it’s a little girlie though, he wanted mine! But I said no! And I used it the other day and it’s great!


The second piece about it that was new to me was the insides! The pattern calls for some fusible interfacing that I had never actually used before. A woven interfacing, which I also learned is fantastic for clothing. And a fusible fleece. I’ve seen this before, but typically skip it since it isn’t in my sewing room… This time I bought it and the two interfacings really do give the bag a big sturdy shape!


Lastly, for new ot me sewing, I have never done an adjustable strap! It seems like I would have with all the hundreds of purses I’ve made in my time (I used to sell purses…). But no! Super easy!


I love a purse with an inside pocket! And it has one included in the pattern! Next time I might put one on each side.


The outside pocket is perfect for my phone! I made it the contrasting color, but in hindsight, I think I’d stick with either the same color or at least not as contrasting because part of the pocket shows under the flap. which I didn’t realize in the process!


And its’ a great size for a stuffie! I couldn’t resist, since this guy looked so cute in it! I actually didn’t carry Mt. Doodles around in it. I used it for carrying books and I really loved how the strap felt on my shoulder. I have a problem with bags falling off my shoulder, but this one didn’t!


Now to get your own pattern! You can purchase the pattern here at Katy’s shop. To celebrate the launch of her new pattern she’s offering 25% off ALL the patterns in her shop! Hurry over, the discount is available until April 10th with the code HOPPYEASTER15.



De Plane, De Plane, De Quilt!

The funny thing is, we were flipping through the channels the other day and Fantasy Island was on! I hadn’t seen that in ages! Anyway, Fantasy Island has nothing to do with this quilt, but planes do!


This quilt is my first finish for 2015! But was supposed to be done a couple of years ago. This is a memory quilt for a very wonderful family friend. Our families have been close for years. But a couple of years ago we lost the Mr.

Mr. was the father of one of my best friends growing up. I guess it was middle school when we were always at each other’s houses. Mr. was like a second father to me for years. Mr. was an incredible man and had a wonderfully rich life with a large family and a lot of adventures! And you’ve probably guessed it… He was a pilot!


I went home not too long after he passed and was able to collect a lot of his shirts. I had a traditional idea when I first asked if I could do this for them. But it obviously didn’t ring right to me. It then took me a couple of years, walking past this bag of shirts everyday and thinking about the right thing to do.


Then it hit me! I had to do a plane! But I wanted it to be graphic, not a detailed paper pieced replica of a plane. A graphic representation.


I was also going to ONLY use the shirts. But to make the plane pop, I decided to actually use an Essex Linen as a more neutral background. I did add in little pops of a blue shirt for ‘clouds’. They are actually a little harder to see than I planned. I love the close stitching that follows the lines of the plane! It took way longer than I was planning, but oh, well!


For the plane, I made a little improv piece and then cut it apart in pieces to make the plane shapes.


The back has a little more traditional feel.


Using all his shirts, including a tshirt. That big Bama shirt was a must!


I couldn’t NOT use his plane shirt! And I think he flew almost all the planes, if not all of them!


For the binding, I continued to use the Mr.’s shirts. It’s a scrappy binding.


I’m crossing my fingers that the family loves and enjoys it for years to come. It’s not a very traditional design, so I’m crossing my fingers they like it! I hate that it took me so long to get it to them, but I think it was worth the wait to come up with a design that spoke to me about the one, special Mr. that it was made to remember!

This is my first (and unfortunately might be my only) completed project from my Quarter 1 Finish Along list….

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

A Kitchen Inspired Gift Set

We didn’t know what to get my in-laws for Christmas. My husband wanted me to make placemats. I didn’t think I had time to make placemats…. So I bought a spoon…


A really cool Spoon! And then I decided to buy some cool napkins at Bed Bath and Beyond to go with the spoon. When I found the awesome napkins, I also found a really cool Seattle neighborhood map cutting board (yes this one is Chicago, but our store actually had Seattle even though it’s not online. Trying not to take that personally…). And then of course, you need placemats to go with everything else!


So I made placemats! Everyone needs them. I love making them. So why not!


This one I used one of my favorite patterns, the Mini Trajectory Paper Piece pattern by Simply Cotton! I’ve used it before a few times… Once for a do Good block, I made a placemat for us with it and I used it for my paper piecing tutorial!


The wonky log cabins is a favorite. No pattern here!


Another no pattern mat… Just some hexi’s to match the napkins!


Again, a bit of paper piecing with improv! This pattern is a free pattern from Wombat Quilts, the Star String Paper Pieced Pattern. I did have to scale the pattern down a bit, just like I did with our placemats!


I do love the circlular stitching. I haven’t attempted it on a large quilt yet, but it looks awesome on the little placemats!


And for the back, I used some fabric that I had been hoarding…. For the whole project I used fabric from my stash! So that felt really good!


Don’t they look good together??? I think so!


I LOVE making placemats! I think it’s the satisfaction of finishing a quilt, but it’s just a tiny quilt! I don’t do many mini quilts because I don’t’ have anywhere to hang them. And they just get rolled up and stashed… But the placemats get used so I feel like I can make them! And they make for a fantastic gift!

Valentine’s Day Quilted Postcards- a Tutorial

I’m super excited about this project! Our Seattle Modern Quilt Guild is doing a Valentine Postcard swap. When we first heard about it, I decided I was in, but I wasn’t super excited. Then I started making mine and got hooked!!! Obsessed!


I came home and started looking around online for instructions and sizes so I could make some and mail them. I couldn’t find a tutorial that didn’t include an applique type edge. I wanted a more quilted look….


The first one I made was this one. I used a bunch of 1 inch squares, but then couldn’t quite get the back to work. It’s also super thick for mailing with all the seams! So as much as I love this one, it’s not what I wanted for a quilted postcard valentine up taking the plunge into the mailbox!


So I made some more! But this time I made patterns! More paper piecing for me! I couldn’t decide on just one, so the pattern actually has 3 patterns in it! I have the set of patterns in my Craftsy store, for $5.00. But the tutorial is free! So let’s get to it!


You’ll need a little bit of fabric, a 4×6 piece of batting, a 4×6 piece of cardstock, patterns and I use basting spray. I used mostly scraps, so needless to say, you don’t need much fabric!


Print and pick your favorite pattern. Each pattern has two outside lines. One for making a 4.5 x 6.5 inch block. The second is larger for making the postcards.




Paper piece your hearts! If you’re new to paper piecing, my tutorial on that should help! Sew together and then tear off the paper.


Center the batting on the quilt block. I use basting spray, but you can pin too. Spray the spray on the batting, not on the quilt block. You’ll have a little more than a half inch on each side.


Quilt the block and the batting together.


Iron the edges in half and over again.


Spray baste the cardstock onto the batting.





Time to do the ‘binding’! Fold the block over the edge of the card stock and start sewing. The corners are a bit tricky. Especially if you have a bunch of seams like I did in my first postcard. So following the pictures, fold, fold, fold and fold one last time. Then continue sewing!


And you’re done! Ready for mailing!



And just in case, I mailed one to myself, just to check… I did use a regular letter stamp instead of a postcard stamp. One, because I had it and I didn’t have a postcard stamp. And two, I though they might need extra postage since they are thicker than a plain postcard…..


These are so fun! Pretty quick, too! Now I have to make more. I need some for the swap and now I want to send them on to family!



Which one is your favorite!

A Wonky Block with a Tutorial

I usually don’t post my picks for my do.Good Stitches quilting months, but I posted a picture of the block coming together and I learned that some of my circle friends aren’t excited about wonky! And I learned a little something about wonky while I was making these, so I thought I’d share!


The block we’re doing for the February Nurture Circle of do.Good Stitches is made up of 5 blocks and 2 solid pieces. And once you put them all together you end up with 1 12.5 x 24.5 inch block.


I’m loving the look of these blocks. Log cabin wonky, my friend! Love it! For this large block you’ll need:

(1) 12.5 inch wonky log cabin block

(1) 8.5 inch wonky log cabin block

(3) 4.5 inch wonky log cabin blocks

(2) 4.5 inch solid back ground blocks, these can be pieced or just a simple cut piece of fabric. However you do it, it need to be all background color.


You’ll need some fabric, of course! Ha! For the center piece you’ll need scraps. Any scraps. I’d prefer mostly solids, but…  And an array of whites and/or creams for the outside. For mine I used, Kona Snow, Kona White and Kona Oyster. I also added in a few white pattern on white fabric scraps.


Here’s what I learned. When I start with a square, the wonky log cabins always turn out looking nicer.


This is a big ole oops that didn’t make it into my block!  First off, I started with a wonky shaped center and tried to make it work. Secondly, I was using all scraps. So I sewed on this triangle. When I think wonky, I also think I can use odd shaped pieces. But, um, no. I mean I guess if you’re really good at it you can…. But mine always turn out nicer starting with a square.


Then make your little log cabin. Mine stayed between 4 inches to 2 inches, approximately.



Here’s the key to wonky (at least for me)- The wonky part of the whole thing comes in the cutting, not the piecing! After piecing I ended up with a traditional square. After cutting, I ended up with a wonky block! Just rotate that cutting square!


Next you keep building on the center piece just like you would any log cabin. This one just happens to not be a square! For the do. Good quilt, I’d like these to have the colored center off center. The off center thing seems to go along with the whole wonky thing, don’t you think!

I use scraps, not straight pieces for the side of the log cabin. Different widths, some are pieced, most aren’t straight. This also helps add to the wonkiness!



Just like you did with the center, you use the cutting square to cut your SQUARE off kilter from the middle. This is where you do want to cut a real square!


Like I mentioned before, here are the blocks you need:

(1) 12.5 inch wonky log cabin block

(1) 8.5 inch wonky log cabin block

(3) 4.5 inch wonky log cabin blocks

(2) 4.5 inch solid back ground blocks, these can be pieced or just a simple cut piece of fabric. However you do it, it need to be all background color.



The fun part… Arranging the ‘mini’ blocks to make the overall block.


Then back to the sewing machine! Sew the pieces together so that you end up with a 12.5 x 24.5 inch block.


I’m so exicted to see how this comes together for the quilt circle!!! Yea!!!

Stylish Slippers!

I’m still here! I got a little off track with blogging with some things going on in my world that actually put blogging on the back burner. But I’m back!


And I’m back with a super fun project! I recently got to test my bloggin’ buddy’s, Mel from Filles a Maman, newest pattern for some super warm slippers!  The pattern is awesome since it’s one pattern for the whole family!


The pattern is intended for both knit and fleece. For mine I used fleece on the outside and knit on the inside. The funny thing was I had this big bag of scraps that I was about to give away, but I had to grab it and pull it back downstairs to get the fleece scraps to make the slippers! See, I just kept saying I don’t need these scraps, but as soon as I go to get rid of them, I need them!  Anyway….


And I made them for me! I’m glad I did, but Mel asked me to make my size. I still want to make some for the kiddo, too. And maybe even Dad! Maybe even the Grandparents…. So many options!


The pattern is a very quick sew. I think it took about 1.5 hours, from start to finish! The pattern is very well written and the diagrams make it super easy to follow!


The bottom calls for the non slip fabric that you put in the foot of pj’s. You can get this at Joann’s, or she tells you a secret of how to make it yourself! Well, I don’t know if it’s really a secret or not… Puffy paint!


And best of all…. It’s only $5.95 on Craftsy for only a day or so more! So buy it now!

Sewing, Blogging, Shopping

The other day I read on a blog a little something like this… If I’m sewing, I’m not blogging and if I’m blogging, I’m not sewing! Unfortunately, I don’t remember who said it…


It’s so true! And I’ve been sewing! And traveling! And shopping online! So sorry, I was quiet this week! But I wanted to check in!  I also have had a big deadline at work and as spur of the moment as plane travel across the country is, that’s what I’m doing! Since I was traveling home to Bama, this week, this fabric above jumped out at me. I think most ‘Bamians think of one thing when they see houndstooth. Especially red and black and white houndstooth… Alabama Football! I love this remix version by Ann Kelle for Kaufman.


Oh, and shopping for fabric! I was sewing, and if you follow me on IG you already know this, but I was sewing the world’s largest paper piecing pattern and I ran out of fabric. So, I headed back to to order more. But if you order fabric, you have to order enough for free shipping right? So then I started looking around….


And I found these! None of which I need, but I love! Since I got my original quilt fabric from, that’s where I went back to for the extra supply… I love Creative Thursday’s work, so I went to see if they still had any of her CHristmas fabric. They didn’t, but I fell in love with the top three fabrics above! Top left, Just for Fun Whimsical Rabbit, Top Middle, Just for Fun Ballons and top right Ric Rac Rabbits. And we love Jeti’s!!! My friend Debbie over at A Quilter’s Table just used this fantastic Betty the Jeti Fabric in a pillow swap and I’m in love! I love the green she used, but on this particular site they only have it with the yellow background. But doesn’t it go perfectly with the Riley Blake Good Natured Timber wood grain in yellow that I want too?? And I love this super hero girl fabric by Anne Kelle. And I love it just because it’s all girls. No boys!


And what do you see with this fabric??? Obviously, besides the monsters… PJ’s? I see pj pants!!


And I really don’t like to do Christmas before Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t help finding more Christmas fabric that I don’t need! You can kinda see my color scheme here, huh! The top left is totally my colors with the teal and green Snowmen by Riley Blake. My step mom has a thing for penguins, that has kinda rubbed off on me, which is why I love the top right Silly Chilly Penguin fabric. The middle left is another Anne Kelle owl print that I love! I have it in teal, but I’m going to try to get the last yard of blue they have! And here’s my friend Debbie’s influence again, the middle right polka dot fabric also by Riley Blake. My son went through a Grinch phase as a toddler, so he’s a big part of our Christmas now. I love this Grinch panel! I want to make some Christmas pillows out of it!

So what fabric are you buying????

Thanks for letting me check in! I’m on vacation without my sewing machine, so I’m hoping to get caught up on the blogging side and share some more of the fun projects I’ve been working on!!! Yea! Stay tuned!

My 1st T-shirt Quilt!

So last week was Kids Clothes Week over at Elsie Marley. Did you make anything? I usually make clothes at least once if not the whole week. But I was super busy finishing a quilt top! And it was made from a friend’s childhood t-shirts. So I was working with kids clothes…. Does that count?


A teacher from the kiddo’s school asked if I could turn her old t-shirt pieces into a quilt top. And of course, you know what I said…. Yes! I had them for way too long and I finally started my plan of finishing projects that are piling up under my ironing board…. Since hers was just the top, I figured it was an easy one to cross off the list!


Have you ever made a t-shirt quilt? Well, neither had I. I have started one! HA! That’s no surprise is it! Anyway… I got the pieces from her and she had already fused a feather weight interfacing to the piecing! That made my life easier, for sure. When I started mine, I didn’t use interfacing… Luckily I only finished one block. But the fusible interfacing really helps with the shirts stretching and also with combining different types of knits and if you are introducing other fabrics like we did on this one. The black is a cotton.


She had also started a little bit of it, so I knew the look she was going for. She had started two rows. So I continued with that, making 4 separate rows, then sewing the rows together. I like how that gave it a bit of an organic layout. I also like the black borders between the pieces being different sizes. A bit impromptu if you will!


It’s such a small world too. As I was making her quilt I knew I had heard of her high school, but couldn’t place where. Ends up, my co-worker went to high school with this teacher and was friends with her older sister! Funny!

So I handed off the quilt top to her and she’s having it finished by her mother, I believe! I really enjoyed working on it and it totally inspired me to get back to the one I was making for my family!


Have you ever made a t-shirt quilt?

Designing with the Kiddo

We’re at it again! The kiddo and I designed another fabric design for the Spoonflower weekly Design Contest! We had a great start and some fun feedback on our surf design (which is now available for sale here….) So we did it again!

Parade of Rhinos-ImFeelinCrafty

This week’s challenge is Rhino’s! The design didn’t come out quite like I had planned, but we like it! I drew the rhino, then photocopied it over and over and over. Next we ‘decorated’ the rhinos. Lastly, I scanned them all back into Photoshop and set up the design. Actually the whole family designed this one. Dad even got in on it and designed a few. We call it ‘Parade of Rhinos’!


I did sneak in another design between the surf and rhino challenges. I submitted one for the farm challenge. This one I wasn’t too excited about… I’m not sure exactly what it is, but it seems boring to me.


Our local Architecture Without Borders group and the local Architecture for Humanity are sponsoring a design competition that I think the kiddo and I are going to do too! The competition is to design a Free Little Library. The kiddo has wanted one for a while, so when I saw this design competition, I knew it was right up our alley! I’ll have to keep you posted on our progress!

Of our three designs, which one is your favorite? I’m thinking maybe pj’s made out of the rhinos… What do you think?



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