A Graduation Gift Set for a Drummer

I may have mentioned this, but I’m really bad about giving graduation gifts on time. It takes me a while to figure out just the right thing!

My cousin’s son graduated high school during the pandemic and started college at Troy University playing drums. I’m just a year late on this one!

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I had the bright idea to make him a drum stick bag. My original idea was much more simple than I ended up making! I mentioned it and was introduced to the world of drum stick bags on Amazon. No drawstring bags here… But I was up for the challenge. Pockets and straps and handles, oh my!

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I also took a while to figure out how I wanted to make it special. Then the idea of cork came to mind. I ended up ordering some black and grey cork from Sew Sweetness and it’s just perfect. The school colors are black, grey and burgundy, so I stitched the outline in burgundy thread.

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The biggest detail on the outside is the T. I love how it turned out. But I also added handles and a key fob and a little cork detail to finish off the double zipper.

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The inside has 4 pockets and a long adjustable strap. The strap can hook onto the side of a drum and hang there for easy access to the drum sticks.

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I also made a bucket. For the drum stick bag, I just made up the pattern as I went. But for the bucket, I used the free Faithwell Storage Bin pattern by Sew Sweetness. I’ve used this pattern before with my cross stitch koala and love it. I have never included the handle, though.

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The storage bin actually came out of a mistake I made on the drum stick bag. I originally sewed in the T in the wrong orientation. So then I was was like what do I do with this extra Troy T? I make a bucket! Perfect!

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I followed the directions, but changed it up some with the cork. The directions call to use fusible foam and fuse it to the exterior fabric. I was hesitant to add to the cork, so I flipped it and added the fusible foam to the lining. I was also concerned about the seams in the cork, but they turned out great!

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I also made a key chain with the scraps from the cork pieces. I used my own tutorial for that!

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Then I filled it with fun goodies. Seattle Chocolates, a WA state flag, a Troy pin, some Legos, and a stress ball thingy! I was super excited about how it turned out. and I’m pretty sure the kiddo liked it as well.

Do you have a favorite Graduation Gift you like to make?

Holiday Swaps with the Cotton Candy Pouches

Last December I participated in two swaps. Was was meant to be a handmade item the other wasn’t!

The first swap was with the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild. This one was a secret swap, but our partners gave us colors and ideas of what they would like to get. One of the items on my partners list was a pouch.

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I choose to make the Cotton Candy Pouch from Minikins, Season 1 by Sew Sweetness. It is a really simple pouch with a fun shape. I love the Sew Sweetness patterns because most of them also have a video included. Unfortunately, you can’t buy just this one pattern by itself, you have ot buy the whole Season 1 set. But FORTUNATELY, the whole set is full of great patterns!

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The colors. I don’t think I would have chosen them for myself, not because I don’t like them, just because I usually go to brighter colors. She said she liked navy and cream, grey and touch of green. So I pulled out my navy fabrics. One of them had a green in it, which was perfect. I also knew that the beige freckles fabric from Cotton and Steel had navy freckles. I love this!

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I started by making a ring of flying geese and realized they were way to big for the pouch. So guess what… I’m making myself a bag with the same color scheme! I really love it!

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For the back, I went with a solid panel rather a pieced panel in one of the fabrics I used on the front.

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On the inside, I also used another fabric from the front and added one of my little labels!

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From my secret swap partner, I also got a pouch! Yes, I got mine early and mailed mine late. On time, but later than I received mine so I got this fun shot of the two of them! Mine is made using Marcia Derse fabrics. Very cute!

And then my office had a Christmas Swap. It was also a secret, but no suggestions were given to the giver. My partner is a very creative designer sort, so I debated what to get her. I almost got her a craft kit. Then realized I couldn’t get what I wanted to get her in time for the party, so I decided that she would appreciate something handmade.

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So out came the Cotton Candy Pouch pattern again!

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For this one, I used one of the Mini Series patterns by Giucy Giuce. For this one I used the Courthouse Steps Pattern. She likes to wear earthy tones, so I went orange, yellow and a brownish orange yellow with a mix of creamy background fabrics.

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For the inside I used a golden stripe fabric and added my little label again!

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This pattern is an easy pattern to have as a quick go to pattern! I love how both of these turned out! what is your favorite go to pouch pattern?

Bama Banner

It’s Football Season!

So why not make a quilted banner? I made this one for my Dad, who is a super fan of SEC football and more specifically, Bama football…

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This was supposed to be a Christmas gift for last Christmas, but my To Do List was a little longer than I could possibly get through. It became a Father’s Day present. Which was also late! ha! But none of that matters because it made it there BEFORE football season. Yep!

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For the letters I used the paper piecing, Geometric Alphabet pattern from Quiet Play. The pattern I purchased is just capitol letters, but she has the lowercase letters as well. I made a mistake with my letters… Can you find it? I made each letter, looked at it over and over. Laid it all out. Pieced the letters together. Quilted and put on the binding. And I took pictures of it. But I didn’t notice it until I went to edit the pictures…

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Then for the elephant I altered another paper piecing pattern from Joe June and Mae. She has a ton of great animal patterns and a few elephants. This is the Standing Elephant Pattern. This one is actually has the rest of the elephant body, but I only wanted the head. And of course I had to make a few small changes. I narrowed up his trunk a little and also changed his ears a tiny bit. I think he turned out quite nice.

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For the back I used the rest of my elephant fabric stash! This was left over from the kiddo’s quilt. I also put on a little sleeve on the back using the tutorial from the Tallgrass Prairie Studio website.

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I’m loving the banner idea for mini quilts. It’s only adding a pointy end to a mini quilt, but I love it! Have you made a quilted banner?

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And how cute is this little cabin??? We stayed here this summer at Custer State Park and had an awesome time!

Cross Stitch Keychain

I do love a fun little cross stitch project, do you? I mentioned before that I have a little addiction to quilting and cross stitch magazines. I get these and always find a project in them that I want to make for someone else. So I am always thinking of a way to turn cross stitch projects into something usable.

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When I saw this cute little golf design in Cross Stitch Crazy Issue 243, I knew I wanted to make it for my Dad. But what would he do with it? I decided to make it into a key chain. He could use it on his keys or attach it to his golf bag.

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Super easy! I made the little key fob bit, then layered it with the front and back of the key chain, right sides together. Sew around the edges, leaving a small hole to pull it all through. Pull it through so the right sides are facing out, trim the corners and iron. Lastly top stitch around the edges to close the hole.

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This is a great little gift idea for a small cross stitch design. If the design is really small, it could even be made for a zipper pull on a purse or large pouch!

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What do you like to do with little projects like these? Any other gift suggestions?

Seahorse Pillow- a cross stitch project

I hate that summer is coming to an end and I feel like I haven’t done much… My husband keeps reminding me about the pandemic… But today we just found out that the kiddo got two extra days before school starts!

With that, I have a series of beachy pillows I want to share to make me feel like I’m at the beach instead of ‘Staying Home and Staying Safe!’

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I’m really in love with how this cross stitch pillow turned out! My niece is in love with seahorses. You might even remember the seahorse stuffie I made her from her very own design…  Well, when I got the Summer 2017 issue of Crossstitcher Magazine and there was a seahorse alphabet in there, I knew I had to make it for her!

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I have to say I loved working on this on my trip to the beach last year, but I was sad I wasn’t able to put it lall together before I left the beach. Ha. but sometimes swimming in the Gulf is more important that sewing… sometimes… Ha!

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Typically when I pick cross stitch projects, I’m not a fan of the outlining.  I almost left this one without the outlines, but I’m so glad I switched gears and actually followed the directions! I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have been as cool. I really love this alphabet.

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Although, I’m just posting this, it is an older project. One I made before my obsession with invisible zippers.

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And how about that seahorse and octopus fabric??? A perfect match. I’ve been hoarding this fabric and it was perfect for this project!

Flamingo Pouch

My mom recently had a flamingo themed birthday party, so when I saw the flamingo pattern by Quiet Play, I knew I had to make her something using the flamingo pattern! And I’m totally in love with these 3D Flamingos! ha! I also used them on her party invites.

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The pattern is for a 12″ paper pieced block, but I reduced it in half to get a 6″ block for the pouch.

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I added a little back pocket to the pouch.

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I had this coral fabric that I bought because my flamingo loving mom is also totally in love with coral. I’ve had it for ages knowing I’d have a good reason to use it for her. And this worked perfect with the pink flamingo on the front. You can also see the outside pocket was lined with this fabric as well.

I also love the pink zipper!

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What else would you use this pattern for?? I love it and want to use it again!

Quilted Music Pouch

This gift coordinates with the elephant pouch I showed in my last post! Both were given as gifts to U of Alabama fans… Hence the color scheme!

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My dad wanted a music pouch for Christmas. He had found one on Amazon, but I decided I can make that! To start I basically made a mini quilt for the outside of the pouch.

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I knew design I wanted to use for the outside and I had an idea of how to construct it, but I wasn’t sure exactly. Then I remembered the Two In One Pouch by s.ot.a.k Handmade. I made a few of these years ago and I still love them. I just quadrupled it! And sized it to fit a note pad in the zipper pockets.

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The one thing about the pattern that I’ve always wondered about is the space between the two pouches. I’ve always felt that there should be pockets or something between the pouches. For this one, I made pockets. Another spot to put your music sheets!

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The funny thing is, I was planning on making this tumbler pattern for the outside for a while. Then the ‘free gift’ with Love Patchwork and Quilting, was a set of tumbler templates! How perfect was that?? The templates did make it easier!

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Now I want to make one for me! We’ll see!

 

 

A Little Elephant Pouch Gift

For the holidays I really enjoyed making handmade gifts for family. I do enjoy a nice quick ‘er’ project than a full quilt every now and then!

This project was a bunch of new! A new pattern, times two, altering a paper pieced pattern, sewing with cork and new quilting pattern.

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The pattern is by Olesya Lebedenko Design and I got it from her etsy shop. She has a lot of cute patterns.  This came in a set of other ‘Jungle Flat Face Animals’. The paper piecing pattern set up is different than I am used to. It’s not set up with the 1/4″ seams shown, so there are more copies required to get the pattern pieces you need. But it still worked. I loved the elephant face, but I didn’t like that the trunk just ended. So I added that on myself. The corners didn’t come together perfectly, but close enough for me. And if you look at at the right angle, you don’t notice it as much! ha!

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Then I had to decide what to do with my little elephant head! This person was already getting pot holders and I’d given them coasters another year… Then I found Sew Sweetness’ Persimmon Dumpling Pouch pattern. And that was that! It’s a free pattern on her blog and even comes with a video tutorial. It’s a really easy make.

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Not too long ago, I was gifted an amazing pouch by a friend in my guild and she had done this awesome quilting on it. (Yes, I still need to share about that!) I was totally inspired by her to do the quilting on this little pouch! The quilting on the back is moreo detailed than in the front. I was planning on doing the back pattern on the front as well, but it seemed like it would be too busy and take away from the elephant.

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The inside uses a contrasting grey fabric. I also love how well this zipper goes. When I saw the zipper I knew I’d be able to use it and this was the perfect project for it!

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And the cork bottom! This wasn’t actually the first time I had used cork. But it is the first time I’ve used it in a pouch and really had to work with it. I’ve ben hoarding my cork fabric for way too long. I finally busted it out and made some wallets and was hooked! Ordered more and have a lot of plans for it now! I love it!

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And that’s my elephant pouch! It’s my Persimmon Dumpling Flat Faced Elephant Pouch!

 

 

We Made Masks

Honestly, I didn’t want to, but we did.

Here’s my quick soap box… I don’t feel like in a country like ours there should be a shortage of any health care PPE. Not in this day and age. Hospitals should not have to worry about getting PPE to protect our healthcare workers. We live in a land of plenty. A land of mass wealth, but we can’t supply our own people with protective gear to us safe from disease. Most of us in the US are very lucky and blessed to be in the situation we are on a typical day in the United States of America. But today we aren’t. States are not getting the supplies they need as a UNITED country. We are being led by a group of people that don’t believe in science and don’t see the need for PPE or clean air, etc. This is why I didn’t want to make masks. It makes me angry.

But here’s the flip side to why I didn’t wallow in my anger and protest the making of masks.

And yes, I’m stubborn and have been known to protest things!  Some funny things, some very personal and political things. Here’s a funny story. Back in the day there was a local drug store in New Orleans that was bought out by another store that didn’t sell Coca Cola products, only Pepsi products. I never went to that store again while I lived in New Orleans. Ha!

Ok, back to why I did make the masks.

Two reasons.

The first is that I’m lucky enough to still have a job, to be home and safe with my kiddo, husband and dog, and I have a stash of fabric and elastic. And the biggest thing is I have the skill and machines to make masks. Not everyone has these things. And I know that and I can’t take that for granted during these times.

The second reason comes from my job. I spend a lot of time in hospitals as an architect. I design rooms around codes that deal with the safety of workers and patients. Where does the PPE go, where do they put on the PPE, where are the hand wash sinks in relation to all the movements of the healthcare workers. And where are the trash cans for all the PPE to go. I see all the one time use, non recyclable products that we use in this country for PPE to protect ourselves. And it’s really depressing to me to see all these one time use products. Not that my masks are going to take the place of the disposable PPE in the hospitals, but my hope is that maybe this mass movement of sew-ers and quilters making masks, just maybe, there could be a shift in thinking from disposable to reusable. It’s hope that kept me moving as I made 47 masks last weekend.

OK, that’s my soap box.

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And these are my masks. I had a small list of friends and family that I wanted to make them for, but as I was cutting, I kept cutting. I didn’t keep count and had no idea how many I was actually making! There are probably a million tutorials out there. Between working 50 hours a week and trying to homeschool the kiddo I didn’t have the bandwidth to do a lot of research. I’ve always liked Dana’s tutorials from Made Everyday, so I just went with her tutorial that you can find here.

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A couple of things I do like about her tutorial is that that fit over the N95 masks if anyone can ever get those again and it has a pocket to put a filter in.

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I added a step from her tutorial. On the bottom of the front and back of each masks I did sew a 1/4″ hem so that when they get washed they won’t fray.

There has been a lot of discussion debating ties or elastic. I went with elastic. If I tried to tie a bow behind my head every time I wanted to put this on, I would never wear one. I’d tie my hair in knots and curse and complain every time! And the thought of constantly tying my sons mask to his head did not interest me in the least. So elastic it was for our family! And therefore, our family and friends, ha!

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There four different sizes in the tutorial. I made the kids and adults.

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And we ended up with 47 masks. Most all of them have found homes. I feel like I may have to make another small batch before I’m done with masks.

Last night at our Seattle Modern Quilt Guild one of our members did a very through presentation of the pros and cons and in and outs of making masks. You can find here presentation here. There’s a ton of information collected to help you make the best decision on which masks are right for you. Be sure to check it out!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Winter Friend Pillows

I’m enjoying making other people’s projects these days! Like these Winter Friend Pillows!

I really love these little throw pillows. They were intended to be Christmas presents, but they were a little late. The green ones are staying at our house while the red ones found a new home. I’m calling them winter pillows, not holiday pillows. It’s still winter….

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As you probably know, I love this book! Pretty In Patchwork, Holidays by John Q Adams. I’ve made a few projects from it, like these teachers gifts.

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As much as I love this book, I did find a bit of an editing oversight. The project for these pillows in the book is called Greetings From Antarctica! I just want to clarify… There are no polar bears in the Antarctic. Penguins live in Antarctica, polar bears live in the Arctic. Things like this really bug me! Let’s be smart, people! Don’t dumb us down….

So I’m changing the name of the project to Winter Friends, as in they are all our friends. I don’t think polar bears and penguins would be friends.

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The directions called for applique eyes and button eyeballs. As much as I don’t like applique, I did do the eyes! By putting a white circle over black, the black showed through, so I added some betting to my circles, so you couldn’t see the black through the white. But I didn’t want buttons for eyes. And I didn’t want to applique anything smaller than the eyes. I also have those eyeballs you use for stuffed animals, but I realized they wouldn’t work on the pillow. It was my son who said, ‘I saw you had some other round things in your cabinet.’ He was talking about my box of rivets! Perfect!

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The polar bear actually had applique eyes (or was it buttons), but I added the diamond shaped eyes in the paper piecing pattern. I love how they turned out, but wonder if I had used rivets, would the pillows blend together better??

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I did also change the pattern of the hat to make the white band thinner. Then the poof was to be a button or applique as well. But I hand sewed on a little pompom!

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I did the same thing for the little penguins! just used smaller rivets and a smaller pompom. Also, for these little guys, I just reduced the size of the pattern when I made the copies. Next time, I’d like them a little larger!

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I chose a freehand wavy pattern to work with ‘sprinkles’ of white to look like the sprinkles were snow blowing in the wind. I think it works!

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The backs are BORING! But I’m ok with it, because the fronts are adorable!

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And the invisible zippers rock!

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I love my winter friends pillows! They make a great gift for penguin loving friends!