Hooked on Needles

Monday, August 31, 2009

Granny Square Stash Buster Project

Here's a quick peek at how I'm using up leftover yarn from recent projects...

Do you recognize these colors? They are from the afghan I made for my son's bed which I showed HERE. I will also be adding squares made from leftovers from Elizabeth's Babette which is just about finished!

Now I'm off to the doctor to see what's wrong with my knee...such fun!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friendship Bag - Fun and Cute!

If you have been following Hooked On Needles for even a short time, you probably know that I love bags, all kinds of bags. I love to make them and I love to receive them and I love to use them for all sorts of things. You may have also noticed the cheerful little Friendship Bag Swap button on the sidebar of my homepage. It was an opportunity I could not pass up so, you guessed it, I signed up!

This week, I started sorting through fabric for a few upcoming projects, and this was one of them. I settled on what I thought was a fun combination. What do you think?

Friendship Bag fabricsIf you recognize the black and white fabrics, that's because they are the same fabrics I used for the pin cushion bag I made for my sister.

Friendship Bag fabricsBut then I threw in a few colorful fabrics from my recently filled out fat quarter stash!

Friendship BagsThere were two patterns offered by the Friendship Bag Swap hostess. The bag on the left was made using Rachel's Friendship Bag Tutorial. The bag on the right with the kicky little pleat on the edge is Kim's Charmed Gift Bag featured on Moda's Bake Shop.

Friendship BagsThis bag was fun to make because I got to use my walking foot to do some machine quilting of the outside layer and the batting before assembling the bag. I love the combination of black and white fabrics with the colored fabrics too!

Friendship BagsThis little charmed bag was so quick and easy to make, I just couldn't believe it! And if you make bags with boxed corners, you really should check out Kim's tutorial showing how to box the corners of the outside and inside of the bag at the same time! It's pure genius!

Both of these bags are about the same size finished, which is quite small, about 5 x 5 1/2 x 3 inches. Just big enough to put in a charm pack or two, a jar of homemade jelly, some little scrapbooking supplies, a ball of yarn with a pattern and crochet hook, a crocheted washcloth and a pretty handmade soap or some hand lotion, a few fat quarters and some lace trim. The possibilities are endless.

Now I need to decide which one of these cute little bags I will send to my secret Friendship Bag Swap partner, and which one I will keep for myself! Decisions, decisions!

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Martha's Vintage Sewing Stuff

Earlier this year, the neighbor of my husband's aunt passed away leaving no children or close relatives. Aunt F had befriended Martha during the years that they were neighbors, and so she took over the job of cleaning out Martha's house and preparing it for sale. During this process, she came upon some items that she thought I might enjoy having, if not to use, but at least to see and appreciate as only a fellow crafty kind of person could. Martha was very talented in many ways including sewing, painting, wood carving and such.

Take a look at some truly vintage items Martha left behind...

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffThis is an old plastic pattern box filled with patterns, some quite old and some from not too very long ago. Aunt F said that Martha was quite a seamstress.

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffTake a look at some of these patterns and their prices...wow! 65 cents, 85 cents, $1.00! The pattern for the little girl's nightgowns really caught my 4 year old Gracie's eye. Now I have to make her some jammies using this pattern!

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffMartha had another plastic sewing box full of all kinds of notions and trims and such. This is the top shelf. Check out those wooden spools still full of thread!

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffHere is the second shelf, with beautiful lace trim still in its original packaging, the parts for making fabric covered buttons, and the cutest little tapestry needle book too.

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffIn the bottom of the sewing box, I found quite a few zippers still in their packaging, some more beautiful trim, more wooden spools of thread, a little plastic box that says "A (picture of a star) for Miss Harrington" with pins and screws and other little odd things inside. I wonder if she was a teacher of some kind. The two little pieces of fabric are actually pockets all hemmed and ready to be sewn onto something. What do you suppose she was making?

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffI just love these old wooden spools. I'm not sure if the thread on them would still be good to use, as I believe that thread is made today much better than it used to be, but they are still fun to have. The package of Boye sewing needles cost 10 cents! And it had 20 needles in it! Can you imagine paying a half cent for a good sewing needle today?

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffThese trims are just beautiful. I actually remember my grandmother purchasing trims packaged like this when I was little. Martha must have made some lovely things if these were her leftovers! I probably won't keep a lot of this, but these trims will definitely remain with me and be used on only very special items!

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffLook at all these wooden spools, and check out the colors of thread on them...the same colors that are popular in all the new quilting fabrics now! Martha must have been a very hip woman!

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffBesides the two plastic boxes with patterns and sewing notions, I also received a bag full of other items. One was this little revolving thread/scissor/stuff holder, still with thread perched on the pegs, with the inside stuffed full of all the items you see in the picture.

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffThere were even some old postage stamps...21 cents each! The little package of woven labels was still unopened, but I would bet that there were many many items that could have used these labels.

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffThese scissors are quite heavy and somewhat rusted. The little wheel must have been for marking her patterns. It is also heavy and, except for the handle, is all metal.

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffThis little container must have been a little giveaway from her bank years ago. When I opened the lid to see what was in it, the plastic hinge part cracked and broke. I am guessing it was a few years old! It is only about 1 1/2 inches across and not much taller than that. What do you think Martha kept in it?

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffA nice variety of buttons! I will keep those too and use them myself. I have already had Gracie's help in sorting them into my button box!

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffThere was another large card of lace in among all this stuff, and this lace must have been of the less expensive variety judging by the words at the top of the card. The back of the card says 8 yards, and without measuring, I would have to guess that not too much has been used from it.

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffThis was a very intriguing item which puzzled me at first. It is very worn from years of hard use. The snap is heavy metal, and the round pieces at each end are also metal which at one time was painted red.

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffThis end looks like Martha might have used it in place of a hammer!

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffInside is space for some thread and a page of wool to hold pins and needles. This is just how I found it when I first opened it. It looks like Martha used this little sewing kit a lot!

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffThis was the last thing in the bag, and I truthfully have no idea what it is or what it is used for. It is some sort of electrical device with a switch to turn it off and on, a red light to indicate something, and a dial. Attached to the back of the box is a cord and some sort of tool connected to it.

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffThe tool has a metal hook on the end. Perhaps this is something used in woodworking? I don't know.

Martha's Vintage Sewing StuffI suppose I could call down to New Jersey and someone there might be able to shed some light on this mystery!

So that's my little tour of Martha's Vintage Sewing Stuff. Most of the items are so old and in such bad shape that they are not worth keeping, but a few of them will be put into my collection and treasured. And of course that pajama pattern will need to be examined to see if it is suitable for making my little Gracie something cozy for the upcoming winter. Perhaps I'll put some vintage trim or buttons on it too!

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Babette Crocheted Blanket - Update #4

Crocheting a large blanket from beginning to end between the last day of high school and the first day of college is a pretty lofty goal for a young lady. But if you've read my previous posts on this adventure, you know that is just what my daughter set out to do this summer.

Her first day of classes will be next Wednesday, September 2. Would you like to see how far she's come towards reaching her goal?

Babette Crocheted Blanket - Update #4I just had to put this picture first because it is so colorful! Elizabeth worked out the 22 different colors on this blanket so that no color was touching itself from block to block. And the first round of the border will be a color that is not used in the outside row of any border block! Whew, too much to think about!

Babette Crocheted Blanket - Update #4So here is Elizabeth's Babette with all the blocks crocheted and sewn together, just waiting for the multi-color border she is planning for it. At this point it measures 57 x 62 inches - big and cozy!

I do believe she will reach her goal and I think that is quite an accomplishment!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

LeKaQuilt Bag giveaway!

You know how much I love bags! Well, here is a chance for you to win one for yourself. Click on the button and sign up for this great giveaway over at LeKaQuilt!

LeKaQuilt Giveaway I

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Recycled Jeans - A Drawstring Bag This Time!

Ever since I cut up that first pair of old jeans quite a while ago to make an apron, then moved on to clothes pin bags using jeans, I have been having fun thinking up more and different ways to use the fabulous denim that still has so much life left in it from these old throw-aways.

Take a look at what I did...

Here's my latest creation, a little drawstring bag. Inspiration for this was taken from Helen's first Stitcher's Angel project that was just unveiled last week. It's awfully cute and I loved how she did the lining, so that's what I did here too, only mine isn't quite as high.

The denim is leftover from the leg of jeans that I used for this clothes pin bag. The print fabric is leftover from the vest panel fabric I cut up and used for this apron.

First I cut off the bottom hem of this leftover leg piece and threw away the hem. The part that was left would be the body of the bag.

Although I could have just boxed the corners, I decided I wanted a sewn-in bottom for this little bag, so I cut a very usable piece of denim from the pocket area which would do just fine.

With the right sides together, I pinned the flat piece to the bottom edge of the pant leg, easing in the corners and then stitched it up.

Here's the right side of the newly stitched bottom.

I cut a few little patches from the vest panel and sewed them onto each side of the bag.

This one is my favorite. I think the pot of flowers is so cheerful, and I love these colors.

Then I cute two pieces of the vest panel as long as possible with the top edge being all the nice design, and the bottom edge having some of the white background still included. This would be hidden in the seams and down inside the bottom of the bag anyway! The width of the fabric was cut just a bit wider than the bag itself.

I did not take any measurements for this project. I just eyeballed everything and used the outer bag to measure up the fabric for the lining. Use what you have in whatever size works!

I stitched the lining pieces right sides together, leaving about a 2 inch opening in the bottom to turn the bag, and of course leaving the top edge open too. Then I boxed the corners so they would match the outer bag, again just eyeballing it. The lining will be tucked inside anyway!

After pinning the raw edges of the top of the lining and the denim right sides together, I stitched all around the top using about a 1/4 inch seam.

Then I pulled the denim bag through the opening that was left in the bottom of the lining...

...and stitched the opening closed on the machine.

After pushing the lining to the inside of the bag and getting it all straightened up and nicely fitted, this is how much of the lining stood up above the denim. Using free arm on my sewing machine, I stitched just under the edge of the lining through the denim and inside lining, then stitched again about 1/2 inch above that through the outside and inside layers of the top lining to make a casing for the drawstring.
Here you can see the two stitching lines which make the casing. You can click on any picture to make it bigger and see the details better.

After using my seam ripper to open up the seams on both sides between the casing lines, I threaded one length of drawstring through going in one direction, then another going in the other direction so that the two strings could be pulled away from each other to close the bag. You could use just one drawstring to close the bag if you wanted.

And there's my little recycled jeans tote bag, just big enough to toss in a book or small needlework project, cellphone, package of tissues, car keys and wallet for a trip to the doctor's office or the school parking lot or wherever you might have to do a little waiting.

This bag is not one of my Stitcher's Angel Swap gifts, but from what I hear from my secret partner, she would like these colors. I have been corresponding with her anonymously and gathering good information about what she might like. Such fun! Even if you're not in the swap, head over to Helen's website and check out each project as it is introduced at the beginning of each week. They are free and available to anyone who wants them from some very talented and creative designers.

Happy Stitching!

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