Random Roundup #20


My local guild is having a pouch swap.  It’s a three-way secret swap (and I’m going to post about it anyway…)  I make something for someone, they make something for someone else, and someone makes something for me.  I’ve been picking out fabric in my head and trying to figure out pouch patterns to use.  I wanted to make a smaller version of the Sew Together Bag.  By smaller, I mean less pockets but just as cute and functional.  I tried to make some adjustments myself but just ended up with a short and skinny version.  I really like it so it’s still in the running to give away in this swap.  The pockets may not be deep enough for much though so I’ll still look at other options.One of those options is this Foldover Pouch by Aneela Hoey.  So stinkin’ cute and useful!  It’s got a pincushion, a needle book, a scissor pocket, and a clear vinyl zipper section to keep stuff contained.This one is definitely in the running and I love this Cotton + Steel bird print. It’s so fun!She also has another pattern that I’m thinking about stitching up.  It’s an All-in-One Box Pouch.  It is a large box pouch with a fold down opening with storage on the front and two slip pockets on the back.  I’ve got time.  Our swap isn’t complete until our October meeting. There’s lots of time for making and choosing.  I’ll keep what I don’t give.  I don’t think you can ever have too many pouches.  Or, I can save one until our guild’s Christmas gift swap.  That’s also a great option. Hmmm….

Stash Enhancement:

I am part of the Cotton + Steel Basics fabric club hosted by Pink Castle Fabrics.  So, I get all the basics in all the colorways that were released this year.  It contains Dottie, Add it Up, Netorious, and Sprinkle.  All such good blenders.  I couldn’t pass up the limited time entry earlier this year.  We’re in month 2 and I’m still delighted with what I received and it was a good price.  This one is closed but they have other clubs available so go take a look.I’m off to ponder the next pouch I’m going to make.  I love the planning in my head part!  Happy Sewing!

UFO Invasion

There has been a severe UFO invasion at my house.  It’s insane how many in-progress projects that I have right now.

  1. Wonky Cross Quilt:  This one has been hanging around my sewing room for a number of months waiting to be basted.It will be late for my friend’s October birthday.
  2. Wine Table Runner:  This one is basted and ready to be quilted but quilting has not yet occurred…..It’s for a November birthday so I need to get this one done and mailed out.
  3. Christmas Wall Hanging:  This one is for me but should still be done by the time Christmas Decorations go up!I’m going to place them horizontally and add the words ‘Joy’, ‘Peace’, and ‘Noel’ underneath. It should be fabulous!
  4. Big Ole Pillow:  I created this from the offcuts of the heart blocks from the Orlando donation quilt that I made.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it but then I found this big ole pillow insert that is perfect.  A pillow it will be.
  5. Turkey Sausage:  My Mom brought over the Turkey Sausage cross-stitch for me to make into a wall hanging.
  6. Stacked Squares:  I need to baste and quilt the Stacked Squares quilt for my Dad.The backing is finished and ready to go.  It’s a Christmas gift so I need to get moving.  The quilting plan is random meandering squares which should give it exactly the finish it needs.

I did make a couple of quick projects.  I moved from a cubicle into an office at the end of last week and it is beige and beige-grey and grey-beige.  The room is just screaming for color of any kind.  So, I made a mug rug and a snack bowl for my desk.  The inside of the snack bowl is laminated cotton so I can wipe away any crumbs.

Well, it appears that I have a lot to do…….

Happy Sewing!

    Peanuts for Christmas

    A few weeks back I teased this Peanuts fabric:  One of the directors at work is a Peanuts fanatic.  We have worked togther for 15 years now and with the Peanuts movie out I was really inspired to make something for her for Christmas.  I decided on the Sew Together Bag as it is one of my favorites.  I actually get faster with each time that I make it.

    I also got this selection of fabrics that I wanted to to use for the outside panel of the bag.  I chose two of the blocks from the top panel and designed around those until I came up with this.  I am a bit annoyed at the crookedness of Lucy but it is staying that way.  I just made that the back of the bag.  I used the blues and words for the inside of the bag and coordinated the zippers to match everything else.    The row of Peanuts characters just had to be on the outside of the bag so you can see them when the bag is expanded and I used the Charlie Brown shirt stripe as the binding.Shes going to love it!  And I made her a keychain as an additional little gift. 

    I have other friends that love Peanuts so I made them each a Wide-Open Pouch and a keychain. I believe that concludes my Holiday sewing other than for gift bags, which I may use to put some of these Handmade Holiday gifts in.


    British Beauty

    My brother has been dating a wonderful young lady from the UK.  They have recently become engaged and will be married next month.  We are all very excited that this beautiful woman will be joining our family and moving to the states.  

    Any celebration gives a quilter the opportunity to create a fabulous gift.  So, of course, I had to make her a Sew Together Bag.  They do make the perfect gifts.  I had found this fabric bundle on Craftsy.  It is Bristish Invasion by Riley Blake designs. 

    I had to figure out an exterior design that would feature bits of the fabric but still keep it contained.  I didn’t want it to be very scrappy.  I also chose this background fabric from my stash to play nice with all the colors.  It has a Moda selvedge but no name. I recently bought a mini charm pack that came with a mini tumbler ruler and chose that tool to cut that bundle apart.  I interspersed the prints with the grey.  I love the way it came out!  I horizontally straight line quilted that panel and set it aside while I pieced the bag. I used the plaids for the interior lining pieces and the crowns for the inside of the pockets.  Three different zipper colors make it easy to indentify which pocket holds what stuff. My sewing time, not including the exterior, has decreased for this bag and I didn’t have to look at the instructions this time, other than for the cutting directions.  I will admit to sewing two sections backwards because I wasn’t paying close enough attention but that was easily fixed.  I was struggling while deciding between a red zipper or a charcoal grey one for the exterior zipper.  I’m very happy that I went with the red one!      I will be bringing it with me to the wedding and plan to give it to her when we finally meet for the first time.  So exciting!

    Stash Enhancment:

    This week I picked up some mini charm packs to use for whatever comes to mind.  I love the Paradisio line and you can’t go wrong with the texty goodness that Sweetwater puts outs in the Feed Company line.  These should be fun to dig into this summer.

    A Solid Start

    A friend of mine from high school was the first of our group to have children and her eldest daughter will be graduating from high school this month.  Now, that cannot be true because we met in high school so there is no way that she has a child that is older than we were when we met.  Crazy!

    Look at this child.  She is not graduating high school – she’s just a darling little girl…. 

    What a sweetheart!

     Well, I am making that child a Sew Together Bag to use as she embarks on her adult life.  She wants to audition to be Belle on Disney Cruise Lines and do that for a little while.  She’d be great and I hope she is able to accomplish that goal.  She is still determining what she wants to do after graduation and I hope she finds something she loves and goes for it with all her heart.

    The fabric pull for her bag looked like this: Her completed bag looks like this:    I love the ‘Be Happy’ fussy cut appliqué on the front.  That is exactly what I wish for her future.

    I lined one of the pockets with laminated cotton so she can use it for make-up if she chooses.   The zipper pull was included with my order of zippers from Zip-It.  If you need zippers you need to order from this shop.  The service is fast, the selection is broad, the prices are fabulous, and they have always included a color card and zipper pull with every order I’ve received.  That zipper pull was absolutely perfect for this bag.  

    I have another Sew Together Bag in the works.  My future sister-in-law is moving to the states from the UK and I have the exterior of her bag ready.  I think the minimalist approach of this exterior will be perfect for her.  I hope she’ll love it!

    Stash Enhancement – the Solid Edition:

    I’m trying to add some solids to my repertoire because I do love how they look in quilts that I have seen.  I tend to lean toward blenders or tone-on-tone fabrics when I need to add some color to my designs.  (Ex: the gray fabric pictured above.  😊). Lately, anytime I am in JoAnn Fabrics I will take a look through the remnant bin and have been coming across some Kona Solids.  The remnants are always 50% off the current sale price of that item so it is quite the deal.  I now have these three in my stash:  Pool, Buttercup Yellow, and Tangerine.  They are such beautiful and vibrant colors.  All are just a bit under a full yard. 

    I have also added a few Kona Solids from a recent Craftsy sale.  They are sold as backing fabrics for some kits they were selling.  So, I do not know the actual color name.  The lighter one is called ‘Breakers’ and no color name is listed for the darker teal.  All I know is that I find these colors very appealing and I had to have them!  Also during that sale, I ordered a Free Spirit assorted fat quarter box.  About a third of the box was these very muted florals that I may never use (all were from the same line as well), a third included some great modern prints that I will show in another post, and a third included some solids.  All but the two blue ones came from that box.  It’s a nice array of colors.  The two blue ones came from a Scrap pack that I got at The Intrepid Thread when I visited a few weeks back.  (I didn’t see them on the website so the scrap packs might just be available in store.)  Now I need to decide how I want to start incorporating these solids into my quilts or other projects.  This will be a challenge for me but I feel that as I get more confident with my quilting then I will feel more comfortable adding these solids in.  

    Any suggestions on how I can get started with that?

    Stashing Memories

    I went home this week to visit some great friends but before that trip I was able to start cutting fabrics for a Sew Together Bag for an dear friend’s daughter.  She will be graduating high school next month and I wanted to make her something useful.  We all know how incredibly useful the Sew Togther Bag is!  Her likes are the color green and photography and art and pottery.  I found a small Riley Blake Snapshots bundle that had some camera prints and used that as my jumping off point. 

    I was able to get most pieces cut out before my flight.  I had a bit of time between when I was ready to go and when I should actually start heading to the airport.  🙂 

    These pieces are for the interior and pocket linings.  I was able to decide on the exterior piecing and get started on that but I failed to take a pic before I left the house.  This will be fun to work on when I get back home.

    My friends live in the San Francisco Bay Area so I just had to make a stop at The Intrepid Thread in Milpitas to see some of the awesome new lines in person.  The selection did not disappoint!  Here’s what we walked out of the store with:  

    Now, that’s a bag full of loveliness!

      Okay – this is not all mine.  Mine is the Mini Pearl Bracelets bundle and everything to the right of that.  Here are some close-ups: 

     Hello, Natural History Butterlies in Blue.  The color is just so gorgeous and vibrant.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with it but I really love it.  The text is Color: FULL patterns in Natural.  Such a great background fabric! 

     This little grouping is just so pretty!  We’ve got some Wood Grain by Joel DewberryCherie Les Points in Rose, script – another from the Color: FULL line, Flowers in Rose by Jeanean Morrison, and Studio Stash 2 Crossed Grid in Smoke by Jennifer Sampou.  It reminds me of my cross-stitch roots and I just had to have it.  They all meld so well together that this might just make it into a quilt by themselves.

    Then of course is that Mini Pearl Bracelets bundle.  So rainbowy and adorable.  Such a great blender for just about any project!

    I have been hanging around with my bestie and her fabulous 6 year old who has been coloring stickers for me when we are not out craft shopping or having lunch.

     Such great creativity in this one!  The rest of the fabric from that bag is for them and it will be fun to see what they create with them.

    Today is for hanging out with more of my besties with great food and wonderful company!  It’s the best way to refresh my soul!

    The One with the Leg Lamp

    I’ve been doing some Christmas sewing. I finished one third of the charity quilt for my church. Then I changed focus, of course, and started working on some Christmas gifts. I wanted to make sure that I got a few completed quickly so I wouldn’t lose track of time and not have enough time to get them done. I also signed up for another swap and that will take some of my sewing time as well.

    My boss is a lover of the movie ‘A Christmas Story’ and we’ve been getting him movie related items for a few years now. I recently saw a leg lamp pattern on Instagram and knew that I had to make it for his gift this year. I found the pattern at Sew What Sherlock?.
    I didn’t have a good fabric in my stash for the nylons part of the leg. So, I improvised. I cross hatched with black thread on some beige stripe fabric that I had.

    I love how it turned out. I had to be very fussy with the piecing so that the ‘netting’ looked continuous down the leg.

    I used a suede-like fringe instead of actual flapper-style fringe and I am glad I did. I bought enough to trim the pillow out once I get the insert for it.

    I’m trying to decide if I should add the red ‘Fragile’ wording across the leg or not. I like how it looks without it but it could still look cool with it. Decisions, decisions. Let me know what you think.


    I also made another Sew Together Bag! This one is for my step-sister. She was a Mary Kay consultant for a little while and may still get back to it. So, I wanted to make it pink, black, and white. I also wanted her to be able to use it for the makeup and bought some laminated cotton.

    You know that I’ve had this plan for a while since I’ve had the fabric since early spring. I was scared to cut into it due to the possible issues with it creasing and that you cannot iron it or use pins like you need to for a Sew Together Bag. And I couldn’t decide how I wanted to do the outside of the bag. I’d also picked up some Hollywood Sparkle during that time period to use on the outside. Both sets of fabric are by Riley Blake Designs.


    I searched #sewtogetherbag on Instagram to get some inspiration and came across one that had an initial on it. I knew I had to have that initial pattern and found it at from blank pages on Craftsy. I strip pieced the outside of the bag around the initial.

    The laminated fabrics were for the inside of the bag and the pockets so that she can wipe any makeup residue away.

    The more of these bags that I make the easier they become. This one didn’t take me as long as the last one, even with the laminated fabric in play this time. So this bag is done and I hope she’ll love it!



    I hope everyone’s gifty crafting is going well. I’ve got a few more gift projects to go until I’m done with my holiday sewing for the year and I am definitely motivated now to get some more of those completed.