A challenge & a swap

June 18, 2015 § 12 Comments

Can you believe that I have never done any English Paper Piecing before this?  Me neither!  These are 3/4″ hexagons made with scraps from my out-of-control baskets.

This was both a challenge project and a swap project.

My swap partner has received her package so I can now share the project. She mentioned in her questionnaire that one of the things she would like is something to organize her crochet hooks.  I put all of mine in there to test it out before sending it off.  I was inspired by this linen crochet hook case that I found on Pinterest.  But I knew I wanted it bigger. And I had real trouble finding any suitable linen-like thread to crochet a doily for the flap. So I ended up using hexies instead.

Just for those who are wondering what size this case is, I started with the outside cut measurements of 16 1/2″ x 8″.  The crochet hook pocket was cut 4 1/2″ tall and the individual hook pockets were stitched 1″ apart.  The flap was cut 3 1/4″ tall. I used 3/4″ hexagons for the closure flap and black snaps to secure it.

The text fabric along with both the inside & outside black dot fabrics were part of the 2nd installment of my local 4-friend challenge. (Our 1st challenge was last fall) I added the creamy spirograph type fabric.  As soon as I opened up the challenge package I knew what I was going to make.  It was providence because my swap partner said that black dots are her favorite!  I’m pleased that she is pleased. And I’m tempted to make another for myself!

Christmas bags instead of stockings

December 20, 2013 § 6 Comments


I don’t know how long ago I picked up this vintage sugar sack.  I’ve been meaning to do something with it for awhile now.  But when my hubby and I started talking about Christmas stockings, this idea popped into my head.  We frequently decide to just do stocking stuffers for each other for Christmas. It takes away the whole crazy shopping burden and leaves us with more time to just enjoy the season rather than getting caught up in the madness.  I avoid the mall like the plague during the month of December… unless we just want to go window shopping.

After I had gotten somewhat into the process of making, I decided to do a semi-tutorial.  I was kind of making it up as I went along anyway, based on the size of the sugar sack.  So, I hope that this still makes sense after missing some of the  beginning photos.  The finished size is about 6″ in diameter and 10 1/2″ tall after the cuff is folded down.

For each bag cut a 19 3/4″ wide x 13 1/2″ tall rectangle and a 6 3/4″ circle.  Cut the same out of the lining fabric and a 2″ x 8″ rectangle for the hanging tag.  I used this handy Olfa Circle Cutter to cut the bottoms.  You can also use two pencils & a piece of string, a compass, or a yardstick compass to draw a circle on paper to use as a template to cut your fabric.


Fold the bag rectangle in half and sew a 3/8″ seam along the side. Divide the bag and the circle bottom into four quadrants and finger crease, press, or mark with pins.  Match the bottom to the bag and pin in place.


Continue pinning all the way around.


Place the circle on the bottom and the bag on top and start carefully sewing a 3/8″ seam all the way around the bag, easing the bag fabric as you go.


Turn the bag right side out.


For the hanging tab, fold the 2″ x 8″ rectangle in half, then fold the edges in towards the center and press.  Stitch close to the edge to secure the fabric.


Fold the tab in half and pin it approximately 3″ from the top of the bag lining.  Fold the lining in half and sew a 3/8″ seam.  Sew the lining circle to the bottom in the same way you stitched the bag bottom above.


Place the bag inside the lining, making sure that the hanging tab is at the back, and sew a 3/8″ seam around the top, leaving about a 3″ opening to turn the bag and lining right side out.  Turn the bag, stuff the lining inside the bag and press the edge.  Slip stitch the opening to close up all the raw edges.  Fold down the cuff and hang the bag somewhere to enjoy.

The other thing on our list of things to do is to make a mantle for our fireplace…. something we’ve been talking about doing for several years and yet we just can’t seem to get it done.  Maybe next Christmas.  I’ve been having project ADD lately and can’t seem to finish much of anything. So I am happy that I finally finished this one!!


A wild flower pin cushion

December 17, 2012 § 3 Comments

A free pattern from Anna Maria Horner.  I knew it was going to be on the biggish side. I just didn’t realize how big.  I hope my sister-in-law likes it. She loves green!

Also… who knew that having the kitchen out of sorts would put the rest of my life out of sorts?  All of you who have lived through a kitchen remodel probably already knew this.  I naively thought I would be able to keep right on sewing with no regard to the state of the rest of the house.  In reality… I haven’t felt like doing anything other than watch movies and maybe knit a little.

And… some things are just  not meant to be made in a crock pot… like risotto… or steel cut oats. The final texture is not at all appealing.  I will wait for the kitchen to be finished before I make those again.

Ready for a movie set

October 31, 2012 § 13 Comments

We haven’t ever done anything like this before.  But we’ve talked about dressing up in something from the 18th century… a little bit earlier than this.  So, when we ran across a frontier fair while on vacation this summer with vendors selling period clothing Gary just had to buy a pair of pants and the suspenders.  They were kind of spendy so I offered to make his shirt to complete his look.  Of course, then I had to have a dress as well.

I finished the apron this morning and sewing the buttons on my dress this afternoon.  Nothing like cutting it down to the wire.  The dress itself wasn’t that bad to make. But I assumed that the sizing  would be a little more accurate.  After sewing the first few seams, it was obviously too big. Even after taking it in a little, it’s still a bit big.  And then the method that the pattern used to attach the ruffles on the skirt and sleeves was weird and resulted in ripping them out along with a couple of days to ponder a better way.  In the end, it came out alright but with a lot of last minute sewing.

Anybody need some extras for an old western movie?  We are ready to stand in!  We didn’t get very many trick or treaters, but it was worth it any way.  While it’s not raining at this very moment, it has been pouring down rain all week. I think it scared them off.

Gary’s shirt pattern – the Trailblazer Shirt from Buckaroo Bobbins.

My dress pattern –  the Homestead Dress by Past Patterns.

Dressing Up

October 15, 2012 § 2 Comments

It’s been a little busy around here lately.  It feels like suddenly there is a whole bunch of stuff that needs to be wrapped up at the same time.

I’ve been squeezing in some time to work on these costumes.   My hubby found the pants at a Frontier Fair this summer while we were on vacation and then commissioned me to make a shirt to wear with them.  He got this notion that we needed to have costumes to wear on Halloween. Not that we have ever done this before or ever have any place to go.  But… we will be ready.  And of course, I need to have a dress or I’ll be known as the sour puss party pooper.  I do think it would be fun to have a party like of old where all the guests come masked.  But that’s a different era and we don’t have a grand ballroom in our house.  Oh well, maybe this is just the beginning and we will have a dinner party one day.

His shirt pattern is the Trailblazer Shirt from Buckaroo Bobbins. I just have the buttons & buttonholes left to do.

My dress pattern is the Homestead Dress from Past Patterns. I just got it cut out over the weekend. Now I need to sew like the wind.

On another note… I’m hoping to have the next block for the Random Sampler posted in the next couple of days.  Stay tuned…

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