Distraction Sewing

Sometimes, I need a simple sewing project to work on, whether I’m procrastinating working on homework or just feeling anxious and need a distraction.

For each of these projects, I started out with a scrap piece from a Square Dance Panel, and added scraps of solid strips to the sides to simply frame them or make a log cabin block.

It was relaxing to start with a small piece and challenge myself to keep adding to it without a plan.

I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do with these blocks, maybe just a fun set of mini quilts for our end tables or mug rugs.

I love these panels, and I especially love to imagine what they would look like as a doodle page in a sketchbook. That’s next on my list of distractions.

Cupcakes For My Niece

One of my nieces is having her birthday tomorrow. I never know what to buy my nieces for gifts, so I thought it would be fun to make something for this 8-year-old. She loves sweets (who doesn’t), but she can’t have much chocolate these days due to chronic headaches. So I found just the right fabric in my stash to make something for her – a cupcake zipper pouch.

What young girl doesn’t like polka dots? Perfect print for the lining.

I made a small pink notebook to sneak in the inside pocket, and I found the coolest pens to go with this cupcake pouch – scented with cupcakes and strawberries.

Hope she likes her birthday treats and enjoys a fabulous birthday!

Stats: I used a 9-inch brown zipper so this pouch measures 9 inches wide by 6 inches tall, and has a little pocket inside measuring about 4 inches wide by about 3 inches tall.

Mojo Returns With Small Pieces

I received a few pieces of the most adorable scraps of fabric from my good sewing friend Cindy when we were lucky enough to meet in person at our retreat last summer.

I didn’t have much in each print so I didn’t really want to cut them up into smaller pieces only to figure out how to piece them back together into another combination.

Hence, these adorable zipper pouches, which are perfect for a small moleskin and drawing tools, or other goodies I like to hide in my zipper pouches (headphones, power cord for my phone in case the battery gets low while I’m away from home, external hard drive with my homework projects on it).

For the grey pouch with the bicycle print, I used a 9-inch zipper, so that one measures about 9 inches wide by 6 inches tall. For the minty green pouch with the mushroom print, I used a 7-inch zipper, so that one measures about 7 inches wide by 5.5 inches tall.

I ended up using different prints for the backs, and now I’m in love with that look.

Since I’m a little short on sewing time these days, these zipper pouches were just the ticket to bring back my creative mojo. Now I’ve got all sorts of new ideas swirling around on things I want to make. I love it when that happens.

New Sketchbook Covers

I made two new sketchbook covers to take notes and doodle in classes this semester.

Each of them has an accompanying zipper pouch that velcros to the back of the cover so I can keep my essential drawing tools attached to my sketchbook.

I’m so excited over all these fun prints! They are going to be quite handy too.

I am officially ready for the new semester to start. Well, until I get the syllabuses for my courses, and then I’ll probably have to make a trip to the art supply store and the camera store.

Decorating for Guests

We have been working on adding some decorating to our guest room lately.

We hung a few pictures of various urban scenes, from Paris to Vegas to Madison to Hong Kong.

I made a few mini quilts for the nightstands, beginning with this fabric of vintage New York City postcards.

I used this fabric of vintage NYC street scenes for the backing because it was so adorable, I didn’t want to cut it up into smaller pieces.

These mini quilts were especially easy projects because I used one fabric for the top and one for the backing, so there wasn’t much cutting, no piecing and easy quilting.

I bought these city collection fabrics on our last trip to New York City that I want to staple to art canvases for another large blank wall in that room.

It’s been fun to liven up our guest room, which always seems to be a work in progress.

Color Maps

I ordered one of those big color map fabrics from Spoonflower, full of 3600 color chips and their RGB codes. So Cool!

I was stumped to figure out what to do with it. I thought about hanging it on the wall to have handy for reference, but I don’t have enough wall space in my creative studio for such a large piece. Not without rearranging, which I don’t feel like doing.

Then I decided to keep it simple and make my favorite thing as well as the most useful thing – a fun zippered bag.

I started out with the orange one since it’s the color of the year, but then I got carried away and picked a few other colors to try.

I made that teal one a little fancier with darts in the corners and piping.

Fun bags to make in anticipation of taking a color theory class this semester!

Vintage Pillowcases

I was recently commissioned to make a set of pillowcases using vintage fabrics.

There were not to be just any ordinary pillowcases.

Pillowcases with a gusset and piping on the top and bottom.

Pillowcases with a patchwork top and bottom.

Pillowcases with zippers on one end.

It was a good thing I had helpers.

These pillowcases were a lot of work, measuring, cutting around the stains to have enough pieces to fit back together, sewing together different blends of fabrics, and assembling to satisfy the customer’s request.

 I have been doing a lot of pretty easy sewing these days, so I loved the challenge of figuring out how to make these based on the specifications, and learning to work with vintage fabrics for the first time.

Giveaway Day – December 2011 – Closed

It seems like ages since I’ve offered a giveaway, so I’m excited to be participating in Sew,Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day again!

I am offering the book Pretty in Patchwork Doll Quilts which was the inspiration for the mini quilt I also made for the lucky winner (see below). This book is full of 24 projects for making mini quilts in a great variety of sizes and themes.

Along with this book you will receive this mini quilt I made based on the cover project, a Christmas star measuring 19.5 inches all the way around. Perfect for a table topper or centerpiece.

I used that green fabric for the binding and that red fabric for the backing.

I will also include the scraps in case you want to make something else to match your new mini quilt, like a mug rug, potholder or smaller mini quilt.

Leave a comment by 7 pm CST on Friday, December 16 to be entered. International entries are welcome. Good luck, friends!