Firefly Tote

I have a to do list to finish all my half done projects this year. This project was NOT on my list, but I did it anyway…

The tote is the Firefly Tote by Noodlehead. It’s one of her new patterns and she just hosted a sew along. I really liked it, and knew I wanted to try out my waxed canvas on it, so I joined in. Even if it wasn’t on my To Do List! The pattern has two sizes, a smaller ‘Project’ size and the larger ‘Tote’ size. I made the Tote.

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I was able to pull all the fabrics from my stash! I’ve had a few of these for a while and was excited to finally use them.

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The pattern directions say to shop local. So I did! There is this leather store, MacPherson Leather Company, about 5 minutes from my house and I’ve driven by it saying I’m going to go for about 15 years. I took this opportunity to finally go and get my materials. I took my kid and his friend, which was not the best idea… I left with way more than I went in for….

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The first piece was the pocket. I didn’t have much of this fabric, and I didn’t pay attention when I cut the fabric in order to get the pieces above and below the zipper to align! If you make it, keep that in mind when cutting! I love the bright pop of color in the zipper!

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Then we put the exterior together and left it right sides together while we moved on to make the interior pieces.

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I was intrigued with the drawstring topper on the lining. I think I like it!

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I decided to go with a black leather tie for the drawstring closure.

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I really wanted to use this stripe fabric for the drawstring top, but I didn’t have enough. so I wasted a LOT of time hemming and hawing about it… What other fabric to use???? I just couldn’t make a decision. Finally I complained to my buddy Debbie and she is brilliant and recommended using some of the lining fabric to make the drawstring the correct size. Genius! I think it worked perfectly!

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(check out how well the lining and the drawstring fabric lined up on this side!)

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I used the ‘kite’ fabric for the lining of the outside zipper and also for the interior pocket. I think the pocket in the Tote is a little too deep. When I make it again, I’m going to make mine smaller. It probably works great for something like knitting needles, but otherwise, it’s too deep for pens and pencils. IMO, anyway…

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The other thing about this project is how the hardware makes the bag look really professional! I just happened to have the rivets already, so that was nice.

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The back is nothing exciting, except for those fancy rivets!

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I like it! One thing I did realize about the waxed canvas is that dog hair has a tendency to kinda stick to it… So if you have a large white dog that’s fluffy and sheds a lot, this fabric in black may not be the wisest choice… Just sayin’! Otherwise, I love it! The pattern is great. She also has the pattern all in YouTube videos so you don’t even have to read the instructions! Love!

Red and White Quilt

It’s almost perfect for this holiday weekend! It’s just missing that Blue part….

This one was started way back in 2018 and finished last year. It is a paper pieced pattern that I did with my do.Good Stitches group back in the day.

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My group was usually not fans of my paper piecing obsession! But they played along nicely anyway. Well, some of them did. I bowed out of the group not long after designing this one and presenting it to the group. A few members never sent me their blocks… Oh, well..

There are actually 3 different blocks in the quilt and I had assigned different blocks to different people. The original quilt design was intended to be a little larger, but I think the size it ended up is just right.

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One thing I do love about bee quilts is the variation in colors of fabric. I love how this is a red and white quilt, but when you look closely each block is just a little different.

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And the back. I had a few blocks that were a little smaller than the rest so they went to the back. That is a typical problem when doing paper piecing. Be sure to always print your pattern with no scaling. If you don’t, different programs treat PDF’s differently and some scale up or down the image.

Anyway, they ended up being perfect for the back, so it all worked out in the end.

The little triangles in the top corners are not part of the quilt. I basted them on to make it easier to hold for photographs! And it seemed to help.

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I just really love this one! I did have a little trouble quilting it due to the bulk in the corners. I need to figure that out before I attempt this one again.

I’m also considering publishing the pattern one day soon. Yes, no?

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And my quilt holder fighting with the wind. You can see how he used the corners. Not my idea. I got the idea from my friend Debbie, aquilterstable, who got the idea from Zak Foster Quilts.

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It’s quite Red, White and Blue for the holiday weekend, but it’s as close as I could get! I hope everyone in the US has a great 4th of July weekend and stay safe!

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?

Happy Easter!

I made a couple of quilted Easter decorations in time for Easter this year!

OK, full disclosure… I made them last year, but didn’t get them done in time for Easter! So technically, my first statement is true… LOL!

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As soon as I saw this bunny banner pattern by Sugaridoo in Quiltnow Magazine Issue 60, I was super excited to make it! I just think this little bunny is adorable!

FYI- Quiltnow Magazine is not longer being published and they have taken down the website where this pattern was located. The pattern is not in the magazine. Sugaridoo doesn’t have this pattern on her website, but she does have a similar bunny that you could use for a bunny banner project!

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So cute with the little chick on top! The pattern is a paper pieced pattern. I did not get very creative with this one, even the fabric colors are very similar to the one she made in the magazine. I really debated the quilting. I couldn’t decide what to do and was worried this diamond shape would take away from the bunny. In the end I think it turned out just right.

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I didn’t piece the back on this one. I did add a sleeve, but didn’t use it in the photoshoot!

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And you probably know that I love to just my scraps from a project in another project or a coordinating project right away. So I made Easter eggs! Scrappy, improv Easter eggs. I used this tutorial for my eggs, but instead of a circle, I made the egg shape.

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And I used more scraps from the eggs to make the back!

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A little invisible zipper action.

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Three eggs and another chick from the original pattern, makes for a cute pillow, if I do say so myself!

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I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend and hopefully you are able to get some sewing time in! I plan too. A little Easter Egg dying and sewing for my weekend.

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!

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!

 

 

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!

 

Wildlife Pouches for Australia

If you follow me on IG, you probably know that if someone was offering a pattern with the proceeds going to help support the Australian wild fires, I pretty much got it! Which helps, but the wildlife rescue groups were also in need of pouches for the animals to live in. So we made some of those, too!

I joined the Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild a FB group in Australia. They were continually posting that they needed a bunch of joey pouches and hanging pouches and bat wraps, etc.

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So I told my son about the fires and the wildlife that were loosing their homes and he was all over helping to make these things the animals needed. He is a true animal lover, this kid! I printed the patterns from the FB page and we pulled out a bunch of fabric. We had high hopes to make a zillion! One of my close friends from here is now living in Australia and just happened to come home for Christmas. He agreed to take them back with him, so we only had a short window to make them in. We didn’t quite get as many made as we thought we would.

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The kiddo cut out the patterns. I cut out the fabric and serged the pieces. Then the kiddo did all the finishing.

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They were asking that each pouch had two or three inserts to go in it. We made 3 per pouch.

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They are now asking for crafts to redirect thier crafting efforts to your local shelters. our local shelters here at home are also always in need. Or to make a financial donation, here. Everything is burned and these little guys need food!

We had fun making these little things and hope they find their way to an animal in need! Now we will look to our pet shelters to see how we can help them too. Despite the sad situation, we did have fun sewing to gther to help someone/something that needs our help. Hoping we can all remember this, not just in times of need, but all the time there’s someone or some animal that needs help.

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