Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Best Gift Bag Tutorial


     I was wondering how to wrap my daughter's little birthday presents the other night and I realized I could make something really cute with my fabric.

     A few years ago I found this tutorial for a gift bag that is so easy to make.  The directions are great and even if you have never made a bag before, I'm sure you can make this one.

      The little bag that is made from the tutorial is wonderful for small gifts but the best part about this pattern is that you can make the bag any size you want and it turns out great.  I know, because I just did it.  The bag I made the other night is extra scrappy and not very pretty, so I won't be showing a picture here, but you can use coordinated fabrics and make a beautiful bag any size you want.

      I will show you this little bag I made a couple of years ago using this tutorial.  I use this as a purse sometimes.  I even added some batting to the straps to pad them a little bit.  If I lay this bag flat is measures 14" wide by 10" deep. 





      The trick to making the bag any size is to make the lining the same size as the outside of the bag.  So if you made the outside of your bag 14" x 18" then cut a piece of fabric 14" x 18" for the lining and follow the directions.  It works great. 

     You can also adjust the straps on the bag.  You can make them as wide and as long or short as you want. 

    If you are making the bag bigger, you will want to make your boxed corners a little deeper.  When I made my scrappy bag the other night, I sewed and cut my boxed corners at 2". 

    You can also change up how you place your fabric.  Just because they have a solid bottom and scrappy sides doesn't mean that's the way you have to make yours.  I made my scrappy bag with a scrappy bottom and solid sides.  You can make the entire outside from one piece of fabric as well.  It's really easy and I like to say if I can do it, anyone can. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Woo Hoo! The Second Row Is Done, Well Almost.

    I finally finished the second row of the Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt top.  Actually, it's not totally finished.  I need to add three green hexies to the bottom of the each of the half flowers on the end, but I was so happy to get all these pieces put together that I rushed taking my picture.  It won't take long to add the extra hexies.  Now it's time to cut more fabric to make flowers for the third row.




    I made a decision last month about how I'm going to finish this top when I get all seven rows finished.  I will applique a silver/gray border to all four sides of the top.  I don't know how wide the borders will be yet.  I will use the same silver/gray fabric for the backing.  I have decided to piece the back with a row of flowers, as well.  I bought eight yards of the Mirage line of fabric in the silver lining colorway at Connecting Threads on line store (Link to Fabric).  I'm glad I finally picked a border and backing fabric.  Now all I will need is a batting and I don't have to buy that until I actually finish the top and at the rate I'm sewing now, it may not be done until next fall. 

     I took a day trip to Jacksonville, Florida on September 23rd to see the quilts in the Quilt Fest 2017 show.  This show is held each year and this was the first time I had ever been.  The show was fun and there were a lot of great vendors there.  Since it was fall, the vendors had a lot of fall and Halloween patterns.  I was on the hunt for a nice quilt pattern and the gray fabric for my current quilt project.  I did not find anything I couldn't live without, but I had a blast looking.  Dear daughter found a backpack pattern that she had to have.  There were lots of local quilts and quilters.  It made a nice change from all the international quilts I saw in Paducah last year. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sewing Skirts Before Evacuating

   I had to leave my mobile home before the Hurricane Irma came calling on Sunday and Monday.  So I spent part of my Saturday sewing up two more skirts with the fabric I ordered.  It was a great way to be creative and relieve a some of the stress.  I couldn't tell how bad the storm was going to be or whether I would have a home to return to so I packed the kitties and the essentials (including my Janome 7700 because I had to save at least one sewing machine) and I went to stay at my daughter's house which is not a mobile home.  We got through the storm without losing power and I came home this morning to find my house the same as I left it.  A few sticks and small branches fell out of the trees but nothing more.  I was really lucky and really happy. 

   Here are my new skirts.



   While I was away I did get to spend some some time making flowers and half flowers for the second row of the Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.  Row two is not even half done but I'm working on it.  I should be able to show something soon.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Found Two More Fabrics To Make Skirts

I went to the Thousands of Bolts website this afternoon and found two more fun fabrics to make two more skirts for myself.

This is Serengeti.  I love animal prints.  This reminds me of my cats bellies.  I have two bengal cats and they have lovely spots in their belly fur.


This is Feather Your Nest.  This is just fun.



Both these fabrics were $4.95 a yard, I bought two yards of each and the shipping is about $6.95 for all four yards.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Fun Quick Skirt Project

   I made the skirt with the two yards of pretty plum sixteenth century selfie fabric.  It was easy and fun.

Two yards was a the perfect length of fabric for this skirt.

Here's how I made my skirt:

I washed the fabric, gave it a light press, and I removed the selvedges.

I cut about 5" off one end of the fabric to use for the pocket.

I sewed the ends together to make the skirt.

I ironed the elastic casing at the top, and ironed the hem at the bottom.

I sewed the the casing up leaving an 2" opening to insert the elastic.

I sewed the hem at the bottom.

I added a nice deep pocket, you can see it on the left side of the picture, the two faces that are closer together are the outside of the pocket.

I inserted the elastic in the casing and sewed up the ends of the elastic, then I sewed up the opening in the casing.

It was finished.

Now I'm looking for more fun fabrics to make a few more stay at home skirts.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I'm Making Simple Skirts

A few years ago I made an elastic waist skirt from a bed sheet I bought at Goodwill.  It was a pretty blue floral sheet and I wore that skirt a lot around the house.  I found some holes in the fabric a few weeks ago and I knew it was time to say goodbye to that garment.

I cut the skirt up and kept all the good pieces to put in my stash.

Then I got on the computer to buy some fabric for a new skirt.  I decided to make a gathered skirt with doubled fabric.  I thought it would be great for the winter.

I bought 5 yards of cotton fabric for this project.  I ended up ordering the fabric from Thousands of Bolts website.  The fabric was $4.99 a yard, which was a price I loved.  I also had to buy more 1" elastic for this project so I ordered 12 yards from Amazon, because I'm going to make a few more skirts.

I washed the fabric, gave it a light iron, cut off the selvedges, and folded it in half lengthwise right sides together and sewed it up on all sides leaving an opening for turning it right side out.  I turned it right side out and sewed up the opening and I had my skirt.  I sewed up the side seam, made an elastic casing at the top, inserted my elastic, sewed up the casing, added a patch pocket, and my skirt was done.  It's super heavy and it will be perfect for curling up in the winter.

Here's a picture of the finished skirt.  It doesn't look like much, but I think I will get a lot of wear out of it.


While I was looking for more fabric to make skirts, I found some of the 16th Century Selfie in Plum.  I love this fabric, it's designed by Tula Pink in her Elizabeth collection for Free Spirit.  I found this on etsy.  I had a yard of this fabric a couple of years ago when it first came out and I used most of that to make a bag.  I cut up what was left into strips for my string quilt blocks.



The seller only had two yards of this but I had to have it and I think it will be perfect for an elastic waist skirt.  This skirt will not be doubled.

In between making skirts and fabric shopping I'm still working on my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt top.  I've gotten the first two flowers of row 2 sewn to row 1 and now I'm back to cutting fabric and making hexie papers to make the next three flowers for this row.  I'll post another picture when I get some more done.  It's a very slow project but I'm loving every stitch of it.