Hooked on Needles

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lucy's Crab Shack Leftovers ~ Made into something cute!

In yesterday's post, I shared a couple of quilted tote bags that I made from one of Moda's newest fabric lines, Lucy's Crab Shack by Sweetwater. Both of these were custom orders, so they will not be showing up in my Etsy shop!

I had a handful of charms and some yardage leftover from the bags. This skirt pattern from Moda Bake Shop had caught my eye when it first showed up in the bake shop a little while ago. It's called Banner Day Skirt. So I made it using the leftovers from the bags for my 7 year old Grace who is such a girlie girl and loves to wear skirts and dresses! It was a pretty quick project too!

Here it is...

Lucy's Crab Shack skirtThe pattern over at Moda Bake Shop shows the skirt with just one fabric and the banner hem, but I didn't have enough of either bag lining fabric, so I used what I had left of both.

Lucy's Crab Shack skirtIsn't that hemline just too cute? Triangles are not my favorite to sew, so I was glad I only had to sew together eleven prints and eleven whites! They turned out pretty well though, so maybe I shouldn't be so intimidated by triangles!

Lucy's Crab Shack skirtThis skirt pattern calls for a simple elastic casing for the waist which makes it super quick and easy to make. I think it was designed for a smaller size than my daughter, so it ended up more 'straight' than I had expected. If I make another, I would probably add another two print and white triangles to the hem band, and make the upper skirt section the same width as the hem band so there would be more fullness in the skirt.

Once the skirt was finished, Grace tried it on and didn't take it off until bedtime! I guess she liked it!

I've finished more quilts this week too, so I'll be sharing those pictures here soon!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lucy's Crab Shack Tote Bags ~ Summer in a Bag!

Here are my first creations using Sweetwater's Lucy's Crab Shack fabric by Moda...two fun tote bags for custom orders! I made each one a little different, but there are lots of similarities between them too! Take a look...

Lucy's Crab Shack Tote Bags ~ Summer in a Bag!Of course, they are both tote bags, and both were made by piecing together charm squares of this fun fabric. For one of them, I used all the pinks available because I know the person who ordered it loves pink, and on the other one, I used the plaids and dark background squares mixed with all the other fun fabrics for nice variety.

Lucy's Crab Shack Tote Bags ~ Summer in a Bag!The linings are different for each bag. This bag was lined with the clothesline fabric, and the inside pockets are made with the multicolored floral fabric on the outside and the clothesline fabric as the pocket lining.

Lucy's Crab Shack Tote Bags ~ Summer in a Bag!The inside of this tote bag was done opposite the other, with the floral as the lining of the bag and pockets, and the outside of the pockets the clothesline fabric.

Lucy's Crab Shack Tote Bags ~ Summer in a Bag!My pink-loving friend also asked for a small pocket on the outside for her cellphone, so I made a little one with a charm of the dark background clothesline fabric lined with a pink polka dot charm.

Each bag also has a strap on the inside with a swivel hook at the end to keep track of keys. The handles and the key strap were made using the same word fabric with names of famous beaches. Very cute!

Two fun bags ordered by two fun people!

Next I'll show you what I did with the leftovers from these two bags. Here's a hint...my 7 year old Grace loved it and wore it all day yesterday!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Red and Aqua Quilt ~ Finished At Last!

I am just as pleased as punch to announce that my Red and Aqua quilt is at last complete! Take a look at this wonderfully colorful, crinkly, quilty, cozy quilt...

Red and Aqua Quilt ~ Finished At Last!Finished at last! And I must say, I love it! You might recall when this project began...way back in October, 2009, when I made my blocks for this swap. It was one of the first swaps I joined, and I was so skeptical about the color combination! Silly me!

Then in June, 2011, I chain pieced all the blocks I received from this swap, and purchased the finishing fabrics for it. Here's my lovely little coil of binding...

Red and Aqua Quilt ~ Finished At Last!My mother would love this fabric. She has a thing, I mean a real thing, for red and white!

Red and Aqua Quilt ~ Finished At Last!And there's that fabulously happy Plain Jane fabric that I had my eye on from the very beginning to use as the backing for this quilt. It's a Michael Miller fabric and I think I read recently that it has been produced again. When I bought it, it was a lucky find to get all the yardage I needed in one piece!

Red and Aqua Quilt ~ Finished At Last!I love piecing extra blocks into the backing of a quilt, and this one worked out perfectly. Had I not pieced this strip in between two widths of the Plain Jane fabric, I would not have had enough width for the backing to work on the long arm machine. So having those extra blocks saved me from having to purchase another length of the backing fabric!

Red and Aqua Quilt ~ Finished At Last!See my little improv quilting there? I wanted to try doing extra loops in one of the daisies while I was quilting, which you can see in the upper left side of the quilt in the picture above. But when I came out of the flower, I went in the wrong direction for a bit and had to quilt my way back to the flower to continue in the right direction! No one can ever accuse me of being perfect!

Red and Aqua Quilt ~ Finished At Last!Don't you just love how crinkly quilts get after being washed? I sure do! And check out how white those white flowers are. When I washed this quilt, I threw in some color catchers just to be safe. You know how red fabrics can be! The quilt came out perfect, and the color catchers came out a lovely deep shade of pink! They are definitely worth the investment!

Red and Aqua Quilt ~ Finished At Last!Oh happy quilt!

My next sewing project is making this skirt from Moda Bake Shop using Lucy's Crab Shack fabrics leftover from two tote bags I just finished. My little Gracie is so excited about it! Pictures of both projects to come!

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Crocheting ~ More Cotton Dishcloths/Washcloths

Hard to believe it's just been a full week since my children got out of school for the summer, probably because we've been keeping busy. We've already been to the library twice, swimming at a friend's house, a major clean-up of the play room, some serious sewing (aka 'paid work'!) started and finished. It's all good!

All of you who have followed me for some time now know that I always have a crochet or knit project going so I have something to keep my hands busy when I finally sit down for the evening. In the hot weather, I just cannot tolerate the weight of a big afghan or even the feel of acrylic yarn, so this is when I stock up on cotton wash cloths for my shop and for gift giving. Earlier this year, I loaded up on balls of my favorite Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn in all different solid and variegated colors, and I've been stitching away the evenings.

Here's what I have so far...

Summer Crocheting ~ More Cotton Dishcloths/WashclothsA lovely array of colors, don't you think? I actually had more but one of the moms at school bought a few already! They don't last long once word gets out that good old fashioned cotton wash cloths are still being made!

Summer Crocheting ~ More Cotton Dishcloths/WashclothsThe variegated yarns are my favorites to work with. I love seeing what design will emerge on each cloth. Each one is different, but all fun designs and oh so soft and cottony!

Summer Crocheting ~ More Cotton Dishcloths/WashclothsThis one reminds me of a cold winter day. That would feel nice right about now!

These will be over in my Etsy shop very soon, so if you want to stock up too, just shoot me an email or check out the shop! As always, if you're local and I can deliver in person, let me know before you purchase so I can take off the shipping charge!

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Reverse Plus Quilt Top ~ All Laid Out

One of the reasons I love to participate in colorful charm swaps is so that I can make quilts like this...

Reverse Plus Quilt Top ~ All Laid OutThis quilt pattern is the reverse of the first Plus Quilt I made using a pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew. This one required two charm squares of each print for each block, so it's a good thing I usually take two spots in a charm swap!

Since this picture was taken, I have quilted both plus quilts and the Fandango quilt I pieced a while ago. I'll share those pictures soon. I've been busy working on a few orders this week though. Two friends ordered tote bags made with Sweetwater's new Lucy's Crab Shack fabric which is just so much fun! Those are finished and pictures have been taken. The other order I've been working on is for 24 seat sacks for the Pre-K teacher at school. The fabric was just delivered today and I'm almost finished with them! A good day's work! Pictures of all these projects coming soon!

Stay cool, or warm, depending on where you live!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Grandma Knits Chinese Noodles!

I just thought this was so funny, I had to share it! Enjoy!

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture Tutorial

My husband is a gadget guy and loves anything that requires plugging in or recharging. You all know the type. So a few years ago when we were planning a road trip half way across the country, he thought it would be a great excuse to purchase a GPS. As it turned out, he was right. It was a great tool for getting us there and back. We've used it for so many trips near and far since then, and I just love it.

We have stored our GPS, cord and dashboard donut in a plastic shopping bag when not in use, and one day after using it, my husband commented that, considering all the bags I design and make for every other purpose, wouldn't it be nice if I designed and made a nice bag for our GPS. So I finally picked out some fun fabric and made one! Hooray for me, and for our now-well-dressed GPS!

Here's a tutorial in case you would like to make a bag for your GPS. It's really easy and requires just basic sewing techniques.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialHere's the finished bag, just so you know what the end product looks like! Do you love the fabric? It gets better too! Just wait until you see the coordinating fabric for the bottom of the bag!

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialThis is our dashboard donut which is heavy and has a kind of tacky non-slip surface on the bottom so it doesn't slide around on the dashboard. The thing sticking up in the middle is where the actual GPS device gets mounted. This piece is separate from the donut and has a suction cup on the bottom so it can be mounted on the window or suctioned into the middle of the donut. It never seemed to stick too well for us, even after applying a few drops of water, so I cut a piece of 2-inch black velcro with adhesive backing. I stuck one part of it to the middle of the donut and the other part of it to the bottom of the suction cup. Now the mount can be removed from the donut or just left in place with the velcro. We just leave it velcroed in place and the mount no longer pops off while we're driving.

Ok, back to the bag...

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialPick out a fabric or two that you like.

Measure diameter of donut. Mine is 8 inches. Add 1/2 inch for seam allowances. Cut 2 circles of fabric 8 1/2 inches in diameter. Isn't this fabric just too cute? It's Charlie Brown's shirt design!

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialNext you will need your high school math. Calculate circumference of the circle you just cut.

Circumference = diameter x pi so...
8.5 x 3.14 = 26.69
Round this up to 26.75 and add half inch for seams = 27 1/4

Cut bag outside and lining 27 1/4 x 10. You can use the same fabric for the outside and the lining like I did, or you can use coordinating fabrics, or pieced scraps to make the size needed.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialCut one strip of fabric 27 1/2 x 2 inches out of contrasting fabric for drawstring casing. I used the Charlie Brown shirt design fabric again.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialFold ends in 1/2 inch and press. Then fold long edges to center and press. This picture does not show the ends folded in, but you would want to fold in the ends first and press them before you fold the long edges to the center and press. This makes the ends of the casing neater.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialPlace casing on outside rectangle 1 1/2 inches from top and centered side to side. Pin and stitch close to both long folded edges. Do not stitch the short ends of the casing closed!

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialThis is where the drawstring cord will be threaded to close the bag.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialSew short sides of each rectangle together to make 2 tubes, leaving an opening in the one without the casing, which will be the lining, for turning.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialMark quarters on each circle base by folding each circle in half and placing a pin at each side, then folding it in half matching the pins and placing pins at each side again. Mark quarters on the bottom of each tube.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialPin one tube to each base right sides together matching quarter marks, then ease remaining fabric and pin closely. Stitch using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialWith lining wrong side out and outside of bag right side out, place right sides together and pin around top. Lining will be on the outside and the outside of the bag will be on the inside for this step.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialStitch around the top edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialTurn right side out through opening left in side seam of lining.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture Tutorial Stitch opening closed. Push lining to inside.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialPress top edge. Top stitch around top of bag through outside and lining on both long sides of casing.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialUsing a handy drawstring threader like THIS ONE, or your own favorite method, thread cord through casing and cord stop.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialHolding ends together, tie knot in cord.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialTa-dah! One handy dandy GPS bag, all ready for your next big adventure on the open road!

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialThis bag is big enough to hold the dashboard donut flat in the bottom of the bag, the GPS in its protective case, and the power cord for plugging into the car.

GPS Drawstring Bag ~ A Picture TutorialWhen in use, the bag can just be gathered down around the donut. No need to remove it from the bag! If you find that it slides on your dashboard while inside the bag, just get a circle of that foamy drawer liner stuff and put it between your dashboard and the bag to prevent sliding.

If you make one of these bags for your GPS, I would sure love to see a picture! Tomorrow is the last day of school for my children, so we will be looking forward to our next road trip sometime soon! Happy Summer!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Julie's Cinch Sack ~ A Custom Bag

It's no secret that I have a thing for bags. I love everything about bags. I have a bag for every project, every occasion, every event. I love to design bags. I love to make bags. Even if they are not for me, I still love them!

Here's one that I made for Julie as a custom order from my Etsy shop. She requested a custom bag with no quilting, open pockets, a zipper pocket, a key hook, and only about 14 inches long. She told me what she liked in prints and colors. I sent her some links to fabric lines I thought might match her vision. She picked the main fabric and asked me to pick the others and use them as I saw fit. Then she wanted to be surprised when it arrived in the mail so I didn't even post any pictures on the Etsy listing when she made the actual purchase! Talk about blind faith! It was a fun project and I was pleased with the outcome. Apparently Julie was too, as I received a very nice email from her today saying how much she loved it. Take a look...

Julie's Cinch Sack ~ A Custom BagThis is the outside fabric that Julie wanted as the main fabric. It's called Rectangles in Yellow Steel from Malka Dubrawsky's A Stitch In Color fabric line for Moda. I bought my fabric from Stitches 'n Giggles online shop where Lori always provides such great service and great prices too! If you shop there, tell her I sent you. I don't get anything for referrals, but I do like shops to know when they have a happy customer!

Ok, back to the bag...

Julie's Cinch Sack ~ A Custom BagThis is the other side of the outside in the coordinating fabric called Round and Round in Steel. Isn't it fun?

Julie's Cinch Sack ~ A Custom BagThe main inside fabric is Ladders in Steel and the open pockets are made with Round and Round in Turquoise Ocean. Love these fabric names! They key hook strap is also made with the same fabric, as you can see.

Julie's Cinch Sack ~ A Custom BagJulie had mentioned that she liked the fabric called Sand Dollar in Acid Green, but I could only get a small cut of that fabric, so I made it into a little surprise as the zipper pocket lining!

This bag was fun to create for Julie and I hope she gets a lot of use out of it!

Yesterday I made another kind of bag which I will share with you next, along with a tutorial so you can make one too if you like. Look for it over the weekend or early next week as these next few days will be filled with end-of-school activities and wrapping up from the school year. Whew! That year went by fast!

Happy Stitching!

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